“What you see and what you hear depends a good deal on where you are standing.”
-C. S. Lewis (The Magician’s Nephew)
In both literal and figurative ways, ‘where you are standing’ matters. It can change what you see or hear. Here are a few images that have interesting perspectives:
We tend to see tall verticals when we walk through the forest. Looking up (shifting perspective) can definitely change what we see!
I find value in reflecting what I (think I) heard to someone else. If I restate the idea in my own words to another person, they can help me know whether I understand the intent of what I heard. In general, sharing our thoughts with a trusted friend is always a good idea.
The next line of that C. S. Lewis quote, sometimes offset from the first by a period and sometimes offset by a semi-colon, is “It also depends on what sort of person you are.” In the story, the children hear the voice of Aslan as sweet and soothing and the Magician hears the very same voice as harsh and grating. In the story, I think Lewis is trying to make the point that at least sometimes, what we hear has much to do with what’s inside us to begin with; our biases, our preconceived ideas and perceptions.
Please be sure not to hear my words as judgmental. I have no interest in labeling people as good or evil, but in acknowledging that my perceptions and my perspective can limit me if I’m not careful.
My wish for you and me is that we would sufficient courage to be willing to open our hearts and minds to appreciate other perspectives, other ideas. Other ideas won’t fix us, because there is nothing to fix. But other ideas might help facilitate change. And I hope we can agree that change is essential for our growth and well-being.