A Special Perspective
At the age of twelve, I accidentally uncovered a new mentality. After an uncomfortable and prolonged night of air-travel to the country of Brazil, I lifted the sliding window shade beside my seat, which slightly illuminated the quietly awakening plane. As I peered down upon the great metropolis of Sao Paulo, a fresh curiosity awakened my mind’s sleepy thoughts. My traveling eyes had become fixated on a particular man. He was bicycling along one of the city’s hectic streets, and my imagination instantly carried myself directly into his eyes. I imagined I was in his body, seeing and feeling the world from where he was located. Peddling down the sidewalk, I could smell the aroma of fresh bread baking in padarias as well as the unpleasant stench of perspiration in the mist of the hundreds of hurrying bodies. One of the tiny buildings I had been admiring earlier was now towering above me. Behind me I could hear a man attempting to sell bananas and the music of hippies stationed at street corners. The silent lines of vehicles I had been observing from the sky were now honking and zooming past me at an incredible speed. Sao Paulo was not a far away vacation city at all; it was my home, and I was simply on my way to work as I always was. Envisioning that man’s perspective from my plane window that morning brought me to seriously wonder about each individual’s personal world.
I found that putting myself in the shoes of this stranger for a moment was so utterly fascinating that it gradually evolved into a frequent practice. Eventually, I began to contemplate about how it would feel to be in another person’s position in life, and not simply how the world appeared visually to him or her. In one case, I imagined how it would feel to be in my friend Yadira’s shoes, who was twenty-five years old at the time I was fifteen. Through her eyes, I probably seemed younger than I personally felt at the time, and she most likely felt superior to me. This was because she had already experienced adolescence and those experiences played an enormous role in molding her perspective of life. In another case, when imaging my nine-year-old sister Sophia’s world, I appeared quite mature, primarily because she had not experienced anything beyond elementary school and the age of fifteen seemed so distant to her inexperienced mind. I learned to acknowledge that each person possesses his or her own struggles and worries, as well as personal experiences, which shape his or her view of the world.
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While my adolescent mind is constantly concerned about my future career, a woman in her thirties may be more concerned with finding the perfect spouse. I am not the only being on earth with interests and goals. Thinking in this way is not purely about curiosity. It helps me to think about others before myself and realize the world definitely does not revolve around me. Imagining the world through the eyes of others has helped me to make other people feel more comfortable and to never disregard anyone’s opinion. It is interesting how my ability to truly relate to others developed from something as simple as a man riding a bicycle, but today I am able to look into my father’s eyes and understand that I am still his newborn baby and his only wish is to raise me correctly. When I have children, they will always look at me as a mother, while my parents will always look at me as a daughter. Being aware of these and various other perspectives, helps me to be much more understanding and considerate of each person I come across throughout life.