The view from a point

It was Anne Beauvillard who, in the fourth webinar on cooperation maturity, slipped this sentence: “Let’s not forget that a point of view is a view from a point”.

Why this topic today? Because it seems to me to be the basis of many misunderstandings and the source of just as much knowledge.

Microscope de Radiguet & fils opticiens, Paris

Let’s take a casual conversation between you and another person. Let’s ask the question: “In this discussion, am I there to listen to the other person’s point of view or am I there to give my point of view? ». What is this irrepressible force that pushes me to the point of interrupting the other person, thinking that I have understood what he had to tell me, in order to give my own interpretation of things? And here I could have replaced the verb “to give” by “to want to impose”. Moreover, without even interrupting the other, my own mind is already evaluating what is being expressed so as to give an answer.

Sounds familiar ?

How fragile is THE truth?

A hypothesis I am making: when I do so, I seek to consolidate and reassure myself about what I know about the world. For without an almost blind trust in my knowledge of the world, how can I orient myself? My decisions and my behaviour, every day, depend on it. Moreover, how can I update this knowledge without realizing that what I consider to be the truth is only a partial and temporary truth? And that this partial and temporary truth is doomed either to be confirmed, or to fade away, or to be modified, without ever knowing rest. That is to say that each truth held as such is only valid for itself, in given circumstances, and never again in the same way.

But the topic of THE truth is for another coming article. Let’s get back to the point of view.

An illustrated point of view 

It was while walking around yesterday that I found a way to illustrate this story of a point of view and a view from point. I hope it will speak for you just as it struck me when I found it.

Here we go : a bunch of leaves.

What is THE color of the leaf in front of you?

Surprisingly, some will say green/ orange, some red, and some purple. Of course, that’s because we’re not talking about the same leaf.

And what if so? 

Here it is, this unique leaf, sometimes green/orange, sometimes purple. At the same time green/orange and purple, depending on whether you are facing the sun or with your back to the sun. Sometimes purple veined with green if you look at the underside (which is the underside, by the way?). Then sometimes it has a lanceolate shape, a view from the edge if you wish.

The point is, it’s all a matter of perspective. And a point of view is just a view from a point.

Your view?