Many people can experience the same event and bring home different perspectives.
An email a friend sent me this weekend with the subject line “road rage” perfectly illustrates this “same event, different perspectives” concept.
The email suggested that this driver was trying to pass the elephant because he was impatient. Did any of you receive it?
I thought these photos were remarkable and so I did more research. On snopes.com.
It is a perfect example of how the same event where one could think of as “truth,” could be construed in different ways. It makes us stop and wonder what is truth? So I wanted to share.
The driver was not “trying to pass the elephant.” He saw the elephant coming from behind him and tried to stop his car so as not to disturb it. He was actually trying to go backwards to get out of his way but was stuck in the ditch so he could not move. The driver and his passenger were very frightened.
With the first perspective, we feel like they deserved what happened. And the second, we feel sympathy for the driver who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Radically different.
Situations are not always what they seem. Your perspective may be off. Before responding, take a step back and ponder what else might be going on. Don’t judge too quickly, you might alienate yourself or someone else. I have done this too many times and have lost friendships, felt terrible, been depressed, or despondent when I judged too quickly.
A great trick to figuring out how to interpret something is to run it by a trusted friend. A friend might have more distance from a situation and invite you to see it from a big picture view. A new perspective is usually what I need to get back on track.
Did you and a friend ever experience the same event and see different perspectives?