Dr. Ken Larsen
Life and relationships are multi-dimensional. If we limit our experience of life to a single point of view, our experience will be significantly less that it could be.
Mike Rice recently published a blog where he described the importance of sharing our experience of life with another. I recall that he went so far as to state that happiness is elusive unless we are connected and sharing with another.
I use this prop as a simple way to visualize the limits of a single point of view. I wonder how the meaning of much of life is lost because we haven’t shared those experiences with another and “seen” the world through someone’s eyes other than our own.
Dialogue is one way to experience more than one point of view. In his book “The Miracle of Dialogue” Reuel Howe makes this opening statement:
“Every man [person] is a potential adversary, even those whom we love. Only through dialogue are we saved from this enmity toward one another. Dialogue is to love, what blood is to the body. When the flow of blood stops, the body dies. When dialogue stops, love dies and resentment and hate are born.”
Sadly, when we are faced with a point of view other than our own, we often tend to judge and discount the other in favor of that internal conviction that the way we see things is the right way to see things.
I am color blind, so getting the point of view of another is helpful and possibly necessary. Especially when I am getting dressed up. I once put on what I thought was a blue shirt, only to have Sheren, my wife, gently tell me that it was pale purple. Sigh.
Just as getting a different perspective on the box is going to give us a more complete picture, being open to the point of view of others can expand, deepen and enrich our own experience of mental health and happiness.