It’s difficult for me to see how societies around the globe are being torn apart.
More than that, it is heartbreaking to see how families are being torn apart.
It seems we have reached a dangerous place of not seeing things from different perspectives. A place where we can’t even understand and accept that other people have the right to have different views and opinions.
This behaviour drives suffering. We are all losers in this game. Although we enjoy lovely living conditions in Western countries, we are more depressed than ever. We feel more alone and isolated. We are miserable.
The great news is we can change it. Now is the time to act and work to mend our society, to open people’s minds and hearts. To create a society where everyone feels safe, accepted and happy. A community where everyone feels they can be true to themselves—a culture without oppression.
Our strength and the strength of our community depends on our ability to understand, accept and respect different perspectives.
Perspective-taking is a skill we can all learn and develop.
Children as young as nine years old can learn it.
We can all do an easy exercise right now to start this journey.
Assuming we are all familiar with Goldilocks story, let’s look at this story from the four characters different points of view –
What would each one of them think and feel?
Daddy bear might think that Goldilocks is a criminal. She broke into their home, damaged their furniture and ate their food! Daddy bear might feel vulnerable. He might feel that Goldilocks is a threat to the life of his loved ones and himself. He might feel that Goldilocks is a danger to society and should go to jail for her crime.
Baby bear might think that finally, he has someone to play with. Someone closer to his age. He might feel that he found a new friend. Baby bear might be so exciting that Goldilocks has decided to visit him.
What would Goldilocks and Mummy bear think and feel?
How will this story look from their perspective?
Each of these characters is entitled to have their own perspective on this situation. Each one might feel differently about it. And this is OK. There is no right or wrong way to look at it.
How can you practise perspective-taking?
How can you help your children/students learn perspective-taking?