We recently went on a family trip to the Tate Modern. My eldest daughter, Zoe, is doing a project on surrealism and she wanted to see the art with her own two eyes.
We came across the Magritte picture below. “What do you see?”, I asked the family. What came back was a diverse tapestry of interpretations that enriched my view and blew open the artist’s title: Annunciation.
I likened this to a mountain range, where to understand another’s viewpoint, we need to climb down from our own summit, take off our walking boots, walk across the valley floor to the other person’s mountain, climb up to their summit in their boots and look out at the view from there.
This ability to see the world through someone else’s eyes – walk a mile in their shoes – is eloquently illustrated in this video link of a day in the life of a US hospital, where the camera shows the inner lives of the people passing through, and the emotions playing through their minds on a daily basis.
In a continuously changing world, the ability to move between mountains and not only see, but respect what others see, is an increasingly valuable skill to have.