Dr. Ken Larsen
I recently saw the quote in the title above and was immediately struck with the insight it contains. Sadly, I cannot remember where I saw it.
I shudder to think of the seeds of murder and mayhem that have been sown because we have failed to look beyond our own perspective. Dr. Glasser warned us that our efforts to control one another to do what our perspective dictates can have no good outcome.
We also have the same needs for love, freedom, self-efficacy, fun and safety. What we don’t have in common is a common point of view. A “point of view” is simply a view from one point. If we would take a step back and realize that each of us sees the world differently we might be able to move closer by accepting one another’s experience of life. I cannot see what you see and you cannot see what I see. We can talk about those different perspectives and grow in our understanding of one another and the world, but we cannot make others see as we see. Recognizing these differences offers an opportunity to enrich our experience of life by sharing and working together to get our needs met. We have fought over our differences for far too long in the weary and bloody history of our species. Evidence for this abounds in today’s news, and as I see the sad and tragic plight of so many of our fellow humans I remember Pete Seeger’s words “…when will they ever learn, Oh, when will they ever learn?” Although we need to change the “they” to “we”.
Mental health and happiness depend on us getting along with one another and helping each other get our needs met. In this holiday season with our plastic celebrations that Pope Francis has labeled “a charade” (because of the global strife and rampant human tragedy) can we let our awareness of our terrible inhumanity to one another move us toward a kinder, more thoughtful care for one another, and perhaps even closer to the angelic anthem of “peace on earth to men of good will?”