The North Wind and the Sun is a fable attributed to Aesop. The story concerns a competition between the North wind and the Sun to decide who was the stronger of the two. The challenge was set to make a passing traveler remove his cloak. However hard the North Wind blew at the traveler, the traveler only wrapped his cloak tighter, but when it was the Sun's turn, and the Sun shone, the traveler was overcome with heat and had to take his cloak off. The moral was stated at the end of the fable as:
- Persuasion is better than force. The complete moral of this is "Kindness, gentleness, and persuasion win where force fails. "
Our perspectives affect innocent things such as whether we welcome the rain or sun, wind or snow up to more difficult and potentially life-changing issues such as Hezbollah and Hamas being considered terrorist groups in need of stopping or merely freedom fighters defending the land stolen from them. A woman may find polygyny disagreeable and demoralizing to women whereas a man may find it a wonderful, God-given right and opportunity to have lots of varied sex! Perspective colors whether one reads the Gospels and sees Jesus as God or merely a good moral guide with idealistic teachings.
Our viewpoints, influenced much by our upbringing within our families, communities and peer groups, often define whether or not we view religion as a crutch needed only by weak people, a guide to instruct us through this life and the next or something altogether different. It influences what we believe about Muhammed, Joseph Smith, Buddha, the Pope and the angel Gabriel! Whether or not we see the American Civil War as the "War of Northern Aggression" or a fight to free slaves. Whether we view pork or beef, wine or milk favorably or not. Whether dogs are oh-so-cute-and-much-loved pets or whether they are to be avoided due to dirty saliva. I think you get the point.
Are there examples of how you and a friend or acquaintance have seen the same thing in very different ways? Was it something you could laugh off as inconsequential or did it cause a bit of contention as you decided to discuss why you viewed this subject differently? Did hearing their points of view change your way of viewing something? I'd love to hear your perspective stories!
So share! :)