Lessons of Life Podcast #4: Perspective

Lidya Beniyam, Staff Writer



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Welcome all to the Lessons of Life Podcast where we reflect on our past experiences and the lessons they’ve taught us. We have approached the fourth and final episode! Let’s end this series strong by talking about the importance of perspective. I’m your host, Lidya Beniyam, and join me as we discuss the significance of being able to view things in multiple ways. The guests joining us today are freshmen Aaya Abugabal and Bridget Dombro.

What is perspective? It’s typically defined as a point of view or certain attitude regarding something. Everyone’s perspective affects other people because the way you view the world affects your ability to take action in society today. People are getting hurt everyday because they lack perspective on controversial topics like who are the ideal political leaders or basic human rights. Let’s dive a little deeper into this.

So, one reason why there is so much social unrest and conflict today is because many people get stuck in their own perspective. According to Geneseo, a vast perspective allows us to look beyond our limited experience and see the connection between private concerns and social issues.Gaining perspective equals gaining respect towards others and their own opinions. However, respecting someone doesn’t mean you have to fully support their causes, it means you understand where they are coming from. Meaning, we must put ourselves in each other’s shoes.

Let’s hear from another voice. Bridget Dombro will be our first speaker. Hey Bridget! I want to ask you if you think an open perspective makes you a better person.

“Yes, I absolutely believe a vast perspective can make you a better person. If you research other people’s motives or life situations, their opinion may start to seem more valid. Or if not, you at least have empathy for them and understand their position. The more we acknowledge other people’s backgrounds and intentions, the more grace we can spare them, allowing us to be better people.”

Interesting answer. Can you share a time where you or someone you know did not have a good perspective?

“I think a great example of perspective for everyone is during our season of COVID-19. Back at the beginning of the virus, many of my friends did not understand why I was so persistent on staying home and safe. However, they did not realize that a member of my close family had underlying health conditions. And to top that off, we had very little knowledge on the virus in general. Although they were able to accept my decision. They were not able to understand my reasoning. This lack of effort and toleration did not allow them to have a good perspective on the situation.”

That’s a nice story. I’m sure many of us can relate to an experience similar to yours. For the last question, do you think it is necessary to respect other people’s perspectives? Should we take time to understand their views or not?

“It is extremely necessary to respect the perspectives of others. The more we can come to realize and research the issues of the world, or the issues of our close friends and family members, the more we can understand their motivations. It is important for us as a human race to recognize that everyone has different backgrounds. Because most people do react differently to the position that you’re put into. We must attempt to understand the context of others, but at the end of the day, assume people are making the best decision based on their own unique obstacles. Although it is unrealistic for us to agree with the perspective of everyone. We must respect their viewpoints.”

I appreciate you speaking on this.

Our next speaker is Aaya Abugabal, who is interested in human rights activism. Thanks for joining me Aaya. So, why do you think it’s important to have different perspectives?

I think it’s good to have different perspectives because, especially when you’re researching, or you’re looking into a topic that you are interested in, you really need to understand why you are, in my opinion when I’m researching or looking into a topic, I would have whenever I have a belief or a view, I think I’m always correct. But you can’t think you’re correct when you’re just looking at your perspective, you need to be looking at other people’s perspective to really think, oh yeah, I am correct because blah blah. So that’s why I look into different perspectives. That’s why you need to look at different perspective to understand why you are correct or maybe in that circumstance, why you are wrong because that other person is correct or their perspective is more morally correct than mine.”

Understood. When have you struggled to see something from another person’s perspective? “

A time when I struggled to look at somebody else’s perspective, or really understand their views was about a year ago when I was researching Biden’s health care plan and really researching what his key topics and key points were. And as I learned more, I really was for free health care, but I didn’t understand why people were not for free health care. It’s such a good thing, it’s such a great thing for us to implement in our country. But, as I researched more about somebody else’s perspective. I just struggled. I really did struggle to look at what what it was that they, that they didn’t like about it. But, as I talked to somebody who really didn’t think that free health care was great, I gained to learn a little bit about what their perspective was. And that really helped me and in my point of view.”

That’s totally okay. As long as you learn from it, downfalls, mistakes and times of failure are okay! Lastly, how can you gain a good perspective? “

A way to gain a good perspective is to research or ask questions. Ask those tough questions that you need to ask because you can’t just gain a good perspective from your own bias research.”

That is very helpful advice. Thank you for sharing with me! 

According to the Wittenborg University of Applied Science, the way that we see things is a reflection of our experience, knowledge, culture, and background. Perspective also has to do with stereotypes we associate certain groups of people with and how far we let those stereotypes dictate our judgment.

To test this, let’s try an exercise. I’m going to list a few characteristics and I want you to decide if they correlate to women or men by societal standards.

Number one: strong, assertive, independent.

Number two: emotional, graceful, nurturing, flirtatious.

What were your first thoughts? You probably thought of men for the first set of traits and women for the second set. Now, I’m not saying that these are the traits we should stick by. I’m just listing some of the characteristics society has taught each of us to embody.

If there is talk about a new doctor at the clinic, most people immediately think it’s a male. Whereas if you heard there is a new nurse, you thought it was a female. Don’t feel bad if you thought this! Frankly, it’s hard to get rid of these stereotypes in our head because it has become the norm for decades. However, we cannot let these stereotypes drive our perspectives, as we should make our own judgment and take a stance on various issues and fight for what we believe in.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode and the ones before! I’m your host Lidya Beniyam and that wraps up the fourth and final episode of the Lessons of Life Podcast. Thanks for listening and take care!

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