Different World View

Different World View

We all look at the world differently because we all look at the world from within our own heads with our own eyes and filter everything through our own experiences and beliefs.

This almost goes without saying but it’s so foundational I think we forget it. It’s like water to fish.

So we all have different world views. Some of us have similar opinions about politics or relationships or ethics or morals because we started from a similar place and some of us have similar opinions because we ended in a similar place but no one has walked the same path in the same shoes.

We’re all different and we’re all unique.

Keeping that in mind leads to a huge number of interesting things to contemplate and explore. Here’s just one.

If we all have different World Views because we perforce view the world differently, we will disagree about what view is correct. When this happens it may seem we have two choices.

We can think that our view is right and therefore everyone else is wrong. This is the way most people operate and why we live in a world full of conflict.

Alternatively, we can think that our view is wrong. This is usually painfully self-abrogating because when we negate our point of view we negate our self.

What if we reject the choice itself and instead toss out the idea of a correct world view or privileged observer status.

In science, specifically astronomy, the idea that there is no privileged point of view is called the Copernican principle and it’s adoption led to the Copernican Revolution where the sun replaced the earth in the center of the solar system. When this happened, a scientific revolution ensued.

Motion of Sun (yellow), Earth (blue), and Mars (red) according to heliocentrism (left) and geocentrism (right), before the Copernican Revolution

In a similar way, replacing the idea of a privileged world view can lead to a personal revolution. I’m not saying that you should set aside ideas of right and wrong forever, but there is enormous power in giving up the idea of right or wrong when talking to anyone, at least at first.

If you recognize that you are prejudiced toward your own point of view, just as they are to theirs, you can make huge headway toward personal discovery and interpersonal understanding if you are willing to step into another’s point of view as much as you can as you interact with them. Don’t let worry about being erased or overrun stop you from listening and learning. It seems to me that we worry to much about that. Nothing short of death will erase your point of view so why not try to understand the other.

Here’s a wild side effect. Since few people actually listen from nothing or to really get another’s point of view without imposing or defending their own, trying this out will usually gratify and disarm whoever you talk to.

So you learn something and achieve a new level of affinity with someone!

Try it out. Temporarily remove your World View from the center of your Solar System. Let me know how it goes.

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