I recently came across a comment on a Facebook post that was the setting up a fierce debate on a recent bit of national news which resonated with me. Now, I won’t go into the topic of discussion, but we’ve all seen this sort of Facebook thread. The comment stuck out because as everyone was passionately sharing their view, it put everything into perspective.
A Facebook friend said, simply, “We’re all looking through different lenses.”
What a true and important statement. In an age when diversion is driving a wedge between people, how do we ever hope to stay a society? We must realize our experiences, our lives, our hopes, and dreams are what shape our perspective. This perspective is our individual lens.
This lens—for better or worse—plays a massive role in how we see things. Just like you, your friends have your own lens. Disagreements come about as we look at problems through different lenses. When we realize this fact, it is possible to come closer to understanding one another. It’s not only our political, economic, or social opinions that are affected by this lens—but also our understanding of different art forms.
Books are a prime example. Everyone in the entire world can read the same exact book, and every single one of them will have a unique perspective on the meanings, symbolism, descriptions, et al. All the way down to how a character looks, a setting, and the perception of a particular line of dialogue.
As an author—this idea made me reflect on how the story I’m writing, something so personal, so specific, can and will be viewed through countless different lenses. When you think about it—this is a beautiful thing. It’s what makes the world such an incredible place to live.
All of the different perspectives, values, insights, hopes, dreams and more create a vibrant space with a seemingly infinite number of different characters. These characters are what make books, stories, ideas, inventions and the like moving forward.
So the next time you’re witnessing a harsh debate, take a step back and realize that everyone’s perspective is being formed by their backgrounds which have formed a unique perspective—their lens.
As an author and a reader—we must keep this in mind.