A few weeks ago my middle son and I were driving somewhere. I don’t remember where, but for some reason it was just the two of us. There wasn’t anything unusual about this day that I can recall. We were probably just running a boring errand. Then he made this comment:
“It’s weird how I only have my perspective. Like, we each only have our own perspectives and can’t see other people’s.”
I was speechless. This is a fairly heavy musing. And it was coming from a kid who has to be reminded to put socks on before school almost daily.
After my initial shock subsided. I made a parent type comment affirming his comment and taking it a step further by explaining how this is a reason people sometimes disagree and don’t get along. As we continued on our drive he didn’t bring this back up again, and I didn’t ask where this thought came from (though now I wish I had).
I was reminded about this same notion of perspective in a more embarrassing way this week back at work. After using the restroom in one of the stalls, I came out and happily proclaimed, “It actually flushed!” The other female in the bathroom at the time was one I did not recognize. She just looked at me, smiled, and quickly left. It did not dawn on me how strange I may have appeared to this stranger until hours later.
She probably thought I was giving entirely too much information that was borderline disgusting. But she was missing my perspective of how the toilets in the staff restroom NEVER flush all the way down. It is a very old building with horrendous plumbing (which is probably why last school year they switched this particular restroom to the staff restroom instead of a student restroom since less people use it). She didn’t know how big of a deal it is to have the toilet flush completely. I am fairly certain she is an intern for our 8th grade Social Studies teacher and this week was her first week in our building. From her perspective she saw a crazy middle aged lady come out of a stall thrilled about her waste flushing. What was a small, exciting moment in my day was probably a bizarre and most certainly uncomfortable moment in hers.
It’s all about perspective.
I have a feeling this whole perspective thing observed by my son came from playing video games. I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing either. If playing video games helps to solidify 1st and 3rd person for my 10 year old, awesome. Say what you want about video games, but if playing them gives my boys more of an understanding of perspective than most adults have, I say, let them
eat cake play video games.