What is perspective?
Here are the first three definitions of “perspective” by Merriam-Webster:
1a: a mental view or prospect
//to gain a broader perspective on the international scene — Current Biography
2a: the interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed
//places the issues in proper perspective also : POINT OF VIEW
2b: the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance //trying to maintain my perspective
3: the appearance to the eye of objects in respect to their relative distance and positions
Once we understand perspective and apply our knowledge of it to everyday situations, it becomes easier to make sense of other people’s behavior, actions, and reactions. We start to look at events from their point of view, and we get the reasons behind their choices and decisions.
This understanding results in developing a sense of connection, or even empathy, instead of anger or hatred, which are directly linked to ignorance.
Understanding others helps us see we have more similarities than differences. We realize human emotions are global, and our challenges, though different, have similar components, structures, and origins.
We learn from other people’s experiences. The more perspectives we have, the more skills we gain to tackle our own problems.
We learn to deal with our daily challenges in new ways, not just the way we knew before getting new perspectives. We see how various other people handle their issues, and we get to choose the best way for us.
We also learn to deal with the problems from our past that have caused us pain. We can revisit our younger self , the one dealing with all the hurt, and help them see their position in a new light and understand the situation better by explaining the perspective of the person causing them the pain.
Perspective is everything. It leads directly to understanding. Without understanding, we won’t have peace.
“Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
What is peace?
Here are the first four definitions of “peace” by Merriam-Webster:
1: a state of tranquility or quiet: such as
a: freedom from civil disturbance
//Peace and order were finally restored in the town.
b: a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom
//a breach of the peace
2: freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions
//I have been in perfect peace and contentment — J. H. Newman
3: harmony in personal relations
//The sisters are at peace with each other.
4a: a state or period of mutual concord between governments
//There was a peace of 50 years before war broke out again.
b: a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity
//offered the possibility of a negotiated peace — New York Times
Peace starts inside of us.
We need to start with inner peace.
First, we have to be open to others’ perspectives to get a better understanding of their decisions and actions.
Second, we have to use that knowledge to understand and make peace with our own hurts.
Third, we have to share the way we attained inner peace with others so that they can reach their inner peace.
Only then can we imagine world peace.