November 23, 2013

The other point of view

Dear M,

As writers, our greatest gift is our ability to see the other's point of view. If we cannot, we would not make good story-tellers.

There is always another side to every story. When we are able to bring it out, it adds a touch of beauty to the tale. It also makes the reader contemplate - and make her think of the possible other sides to her own story. When we write about the life of an insignificant person, the reader could think of a similar person in her own life, who exists without anyone giving him even a moment's thought, and maybe the next time she looks at the man, she would see him differently.

That's why some writers say that they write to make a difference. There are so many lives around us that we barely notice, or spend any thought on. We take them for granted without even knowing it. We expect them to do things because it is their duty, and if they fail to, we go mad. They all have stories too, they have families and friends, they too like a drink in the evening, or they listen to songs, they might have a Facebook profile - they all deserve a moment's thought, if that's the least we can do. If our story makes our reader smile at someone or do an act of kindness, then isn't that wonderful?

We could always look for the other's perspective - and after a while, it becomes a habit. The beggar by the roadside, the security guard who opens the gate at our apartment, the delivery boy from the hotel, the woman who sweeps the office floors every morning, the man who cleans up the garbage, the cab driver, the sleeping dog you pass every day on your way out.

We all see (and forget) so many lives, we see (and forget) so many stories. We could make a difference (at least in our own lives) if we see the other point of view.


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  1. To express other's point of view correctly is a great talent.

  2. The other's point of view needs to be understood.
    Very nice post :)