More than anything, our vantage points define how we choose to live, because they constitute the ways we see the world. Every person has two types of vantage point—the physical that gives them immediate information about their surroundings, and the mental. Our mental vantage points consist of our world views, views about other people, and beliefs. They hold our past, define our present, and can even predict our future. How we view the world ultimately determines how we act and how we interact with other people, because those actions find their basis in what we believe to be right and how we believe the world should be. They find their basis in how we think our own worlds should be. Some view the world from an explicitly black and white standpoint, with one right way and many wrong ways to view and ultimately live, yet there is no such thing. Without a doubt there are “wrong” ways to live. But with regard to living a good and honest life, no one vantage point nor one single road provides the sole means to do so. This is one of the most important things to take into consideration when conflict arises.
Though fundamentally similar, each human is astoundingly different. Each comes from a different place, has a different story, and embodies different fears, flaws, and limitations. It logically follows that given different backgrounds and ways of viewing the world, every person will tackle issues in varying ways, so when our issues involve other people, as they often do, give and take is required.
Just as Albert Einstein defined insanity as expecting a different result by doing the same thing over and over, we must remember that a shift in mindset, some give, and a little bit of take is required to reach middle ground. Sometimes we need to see the world in a different way than we normally do, and even challenge that maybe there are other ways to approach life. Sometimes we need to consider that maybe someone taller than us, or someone shorter than us can see things that we cannot. This is where social relation is brought to full potential—when we are able to learn and do together what we were not able to learn or do alone. When we shift our mental vantage point a few inches, we realize that progress is made through compromise, not conversion. It is by understanding and through empathy that we grow.
The world is beautiful because every person finds beauty and peace in different things, so there is never one right way to appreciate, and absolutely no singular way to achieve peace with both ourselves and with others. Universal truths such as the existence of beauty are manifested in different ways and in different things for every person. When we truly interact with another person, we are able to see how they see beauty, and we then appreciate it in more than one way. When we learn from another person, we begin to paint our own picture with more than just the colors that we were given. Sometimes, when we look at the world from a vantage point a little lower or a little higher than our own, we discover and appreciate things that we may have never seen before—simply because they are now in our line of vision, and their beauty is impossible to ignore.