Why The Point Of View You Take Matters

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Monday, 7.09pm

Sheffield, U.K.

The greatest tragedy for any human being is going through their entire lives believing the only perspective that matters is their own. – Doug Baldwin

We’ve been watching the program “The Bold Type”. I relate to almost nothing in there but it’s about publishing and writing and that’s cool but it’s also about people’s voices and that’s interesting.

There’s this idea that everyone’s point of view matters and it’s important to get the voices of marginalised people heard alongside the mainstream ones that tend to dominate the conversation. The mainstream tends to think that because it’s everywhere it’s also right. And then you have the counterpoint that the mainstream, is oppressive because it’s so dominant – nothing gets through it without being filtered through its requirements.

Anyway, what this comes down to is problematic – because logically there is no “right” way to look at these issues. Logically, might can be right and equality can be right – it all depends on the system of logic you use and the way in which you interpret things. Or that’s what I’m led to believe from reading “Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance”, which argues that your morality is often a matter of convenience.

Is this helping – probably not.

Let’s talk frames instead.

Lynda Barry talks about starting your drawing with a frame. Everything inside the frame matters. Everything outside doesn’t. Your story takes place inside the frame – except when you lean against the frame or break through it. There are always exceptions to rules.

A frame is still a good place to start. Try and understand the frame through which someone else sees something and you start to understand what they’re interpreting from what they see. If you have a point of view and I have a point of view and we’re both looking the same way then we must be looking at the same view. The only thing that’s different is how we interpret what we’re seeing. And that’s the importance of the frame. It’s the frame that makes you a conservative interpreter or a liberal one. The frame is it.

The simplest way to make a difference to you and others is recognise the existence of a frame and its relationship with the reality in front of you.

Don’t let your frame become you – it’s a tool to help you think and not the way you think. The more frames you have the better you will be – as a thinker and as a person.

Cheers,

Karthik

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