April 11, 2022
Perspective Creates The World We Live In
By Amba Gale
This last week, in our first three days of our Heart of Leadership, one of the participants was a man whose purpose in life, whose orientation, whose commitment in life, is to hold a space for all different points of view to be heard, gotten, and appreciated.
That reminded me of a cartoon I once saw, with two people on each side of the number 6, or 9, depending upon the point of view. The man who is standing on the side of the number that looks like “9” says to the person looking at the 6, “Nine.” The other man says, “Six.” The caption is: “Just because you are right, doesn’t mean that I am wrong. You just haven’t seen life from my side.”
I love that. I invite you to pause, and think upon that, yourself.
In January of this year, one of the reflections in Mark Nepo’s Book of Awakening, was centered around a Haiku poem. After reading the poem, he invited the reader to write about the incident in the poem from three different points of view.
The accompanying poem is what showed up for me.
After reading my own poem, somewhat startled by my discoveries of what the different “characters” were thinking, I began leaning into the possibility of listening deeply to varying point of view outside my own, and letting them be, simply be. Not only that, but letting them be okay – just as they are – without trying to change them, or the person who has them, or fix them or deny them, or resist them in any way. Even, to appreciate them.
After all, each of us is present to a world that is based on our own perspective.
Another way of saying that is, the world appears to each of us, in accord with our own perspective. If the world appears as a threat, we act one way. As friendly and a gift to us, we act another way.
What might be discovered by us if we got outside of our own separate, repetitive bubbles of thought? What would it be like if we could simply take the time, to REALLY LISTEN (as in “get in the world of”) another’s point of view, especially when we are so dead sure “they” are wrong, and “we” are right? What new possibilities might be borne in a space of real connection, real conversation, and a sense of mutuality, even, possibly intimacy, if we were to listen for their light, lighting up our own?
What if we entered into, created for ourselves, a new ground for conversation that is large enough, rich enough, robust enough, to include points of view other than our own, even those that differ from our own?
I ask: What is more important: being right, or creating trust within a family, a home, a business, a community?
What is more important: getting our dander and anger and rage kindled, or living in the possibility of Presence, outside of time?
What is more important; getting caught up in our hurt, discouragement, upset, or creating and experiencing connection, even intimacy, where we might be a generous and compassionate listening to another’s heart, another’s way of seeing the world?
Perhaps this is a necessary discipline, this discipline of cultivating a willingness to truly listen, these days, if living life in a state of harmony, equanimity, peace, and connection are important or, possibly even critical, for us.
I invite you to take a step backwards, pause, and think upon this.
Here is the Haiku and the poem. If it attracts you, feel free to try on the same writing exercise Mark Nepo invented, of adopting each of the positions of the three “characters” and seeing what you see.
A blind child
guided by his mother
admired the cherry blossoms.
Perspective Creates Our World
Upon Reading Kikakou’s Haiku in Mark Nepo’s Book of Awakening
By Amba Gale
Darkness, they think.
Yet, touching you,
Your beauty speaks, reaches, deepens, touches
While inside, it is dark,
where I am real and hidden,
I see perfectly.
your pink color,
in my heart,
The Loving Mother
Guiding my son,
I have pity,
for he cannot see
the color of the cherry blossom.
And yet, I
have just seen
through my heart’s eye
that the cherry blossom
deep into his soul.
The Cherry Blossom
May I arrest you
as you reach out
to see me
to touch me.
I am here
for All to touch,
to free you
to your own beauty, inside.