8 Billion Angles

In almost every human interaction you have, people hope to convince you to see the world from their angle. “Please step over here,” the car dealer says, and from where she stands, of course it makes perfect sense to buy a new jeep. But then you step back into your own angle and realize: “Wait a minute. I’m not even looking for a new car. Let alone a jeep.”

We don’t always do this consciously, but we often do it eventually. Why doesn’t your friend want Asian takeout? Why can’t the prospect see how much the software would help their business? Why won’t your parents understand that wearing long johns to PE class just isn’t cool?

Sometimes, changing our angle is helpful. Perspective-shift-as-a-service can be a thing. It is, however, a rare and dying breed. Frequently, we find ourselves exploited after looking at the world from the other end for too long.

The far bigger and more admirable service is to step into someone else’s world voluntarily. Spend time in their perspective, perhaps offer some advice or even a little help, then retreat and once again go your separate angles. You believe in God. He doesn’t. But you can still talk about the meaning of life for an hour.

With eight billion angles from which to see the world, being pulled in countless differing directions quickly gets exhausting. Cherish the people who willingly move to your side instead of trying to rope you over to theirs, and offer the same kindness to those you can when you have the bandwidth to do so.

Look at life through a kaleidoscope, not a telescope, and remember to return to your angle when it counts.