Commentary by Heather Kestian
When my son and I recently woke up to news of terror attacks in Europe, I turned on the news not knowing what had happened. There it was: blood, mangled steel, death. And then there were questions from an 8-year-old.
What happened? Are people going to be OK? Why would someone do that?
Excellent questions, kid. I wish I had easy answers, or, at the very least, an answer.
It is a changing world. A world that is harder and more complicated than I remember from when I was growing up. A world of ideas that is increasingly uncompromising.
We talked during breakfast about how some people do not like the way other people live. Together, over two bowls of cereal and milk, we surmised that it all comes down to perspective. Can you understand why someone might act in such a way? The question is not whether we agree, but can you see the perspective?
Whatever the reasons are for those actions, we have to be willing to see a situation from another’s perspective. In seeing the situation differently, we might be able to right a wrong, or explain our own actions to the other side. What if we felt injustice? Would we want someone else to be able to see our perspective?
Over our breakfast, we decided that seeing the world from someone else’s viewpoint was truly a gift. My son and I resolved to see things differently that day. We agreed to spend the day seeing situations from the other side. At the end of the day, before bedtime, we decided that there were fewer hurt feelings when we started from a place of understanding and not proving our own point.
If only we could figure out how to share perspective with everyone, then maybe we could change the world.