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Isn't it pretty?

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

It's All a Matter of Perspective

I have been thinking a lot about perspective lately, and how a different perspective can make such a huge difference in the evaluation of a certain circumstance or experience. It is amazing to me how I can read something and take from it something completely different than someone else. Often in my classes, when I talk about something I feel the author is saying, classmates disagree and feel that the author was saying something opposite. I think much of it is a matter of our personal histories and biases clouding how we interpret what we experience. Two people can go through an experience together, and then go away with two completely different views on what just occurred and what was important about what happened. And the even wilder thing is that neither of those views are probably completely accurate about what happened. Both people probably missed some details and information during the experience. I think we have to work hard on expressing ourselves and our reflections in order to be able to come together and be able to live peacefully. I think often people want to stick to their impression of things and refuse to budge even when faced with evidence that their view of things might be off. Thomas Hobbes felt that humans are naturally in a state of war, that each of us only cares about himself and feels he is entitled to everything. On the other hand, Hobbes also believed that we are all equal. Instead of equality being something that tears us apart, I would rather see it as something that brings us together. Because we recognize that we have so much in common, we should strive to understand and connect to others in order to bring about peace for all of our sakes - not just for the preservation of our own lives.

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