A Point of View Can Be a Dangerous Luxury

“A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding.”

—Marshall McLuhan, 20th Century Canadian Professor

Image of a messy drawer

Image from Unsplash by Ashim D’Silva

Most people generally prefer order to chaos. We tend to like thing organized neatly, whether it be our closets, our files, and in the case of today’s quote, our minds.

When we take in information and experiences, we like to put them into neat piles based on previous knowledge. We categorize them by varying points of view on what is right or wrong, good or bad.

When you hear those around you – or maybe even yourself – saying, “I Know,” it often means they or you have stopped listening or closed their mind to alternative insights and perspectives.

EXERCISE:

With whom and on what issues have you developed a point of view that is holding you back in either your personal or professional communities?

“I wonder how many people…”

“I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen.”

-John Steinbeck, American Author

Image from differencebetween.info

Image from differencebetween.info

 

What is the difference between looking at something, and truly seeing it?

Whether it’s a painting or a person, my sense is that the differences can be great or small, considering the circumstance.

Great art, and in the case of today’s quote, the art of relationship creation and sustainability, requires a level of mastery seldom available to the paint-by-number novice.

EXERCISE:

Where can you place the time and effort to gain the depth of connection, cooperation, and collaboration you desire in your professional and personal lives, through more seeing and less looking?