Take The Time To See The Sunrise From Another Perspective

This morning my daughter and I went to the window to admire the beautiful sky just before sunrise. A pink, orange glow outlined the horizon and illuminated one long thin cloud that hung low in the deep blue sky.

As we stood at the window, I said, “Isn’t it beautiful?” Ella seemed slightly less than wowed. And then I had one of those “aha” moments. “Can you even see it?” I asked as I bent down to look from her level. Sure enough, the Camellia bush outside the window completely blocked the lower half of the sky.

I lifted her up so she could see the horizon. Admittedly, even then, she was less impressed with it than me. But at least she got the chance to actually see what I was seeing.

Perspective is an amazing thing. From my vantage point, the Camellia provided the bottom frame of my view of the horizon. It really wasn’t even something that I was aware of as I took in the beauty of the sky. But just the three-foot difference between my eyes and Ella’s moved the Camellia from the edge of the frame to the foreground.

This experience reinforced just how easy it is to assume that others are seeing what we are. How often do we attempt to communicate about something when to someone who is seeing something totally different? And how often do those different perspectives get in the way of clear communication?

I can imagine a conversation between Ella and me comparing our experience of the morning sky.

“Isn’t it beautiful Ella: the way the pink and orange fade so quickly into the deep blue?”

“All I see is green, daddy.”

“Green. There’s no green in the sky.”

“It’s all green, daddy.”

How often have my wife and I talked around in circles because we were looking at some issue from slightly different angles?

How often have you gotten sucked into a downward spiral of missed communication because you were looking at something from two different angles?

Taking the time to explore the other person’s perspective can instantly open the way to clearer communication. So the next time you’re looking at something with a child, take the time to bend down to see what they’re seeing.

And the next time you find yourself stuck in a conversation that’s going around and around but getting nowhere, take a moment to see if you can change your perspective to see what the other person is seeing.

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