A Different Perspective
There is unparalleled honesty in kids; the aura of innocence enveloping those young minds, makes them endear. They give us a whole new way to look at life.
As we grow amidst different social conditioning, we become vulnerable to the wickedness of the world. On the other hand, kids are the purest of souls. They are not guiling to implement the vices which might harm others.
Lately, an incident happened which taught me, rather made me realise quite a few things. I was distributing coloured pens (each four pens) to my students; and they were free to choose their favourite colour. The prospect of getting such a colourful gift enthralled them. While distributing the pens, I lost my count on how many I gave to each student.
I saw four-year-old Princy, sitting in the corner and drawing with pencils. I asked her, “If I give you one blue pen, one red pen, and one black pen, so how many pens do you have?”
Within a few seconds she replied confidently, “Four!”
I was expecting her to give the answer as three. I was disappointed with her incorrect answer; ‘Maybe she did not listen properly’, I thought.
“Princy, listen carefully. It is very simple. You will be able to do it right if you listen carefully. If I give you one blue pen, one red pen, and one black pen, how many pens will you have?”, I repeated.
She saw the disappointment on my face. She calculated again on her fingers. But I could see the conflict she was going through; she was also searching for the answer that will make me happy. This time she hesitatingly replied, “Four…”
The disappointment stayed on my face. I gave her three crayons and this time with excitement and twinkling eyes I asked, “If I give you these crayons. then how many crayons will you have Princy?” Seeing me happy, young Princy calculated on her fingers again. There was no pressure on her, but a little on me. I wanted her new approach to succeed. With a hesitating smile young Princy said in an enquiring tone, “Three?”
Now I had a victorious smile. Her approach had succeeded. I wanted to congratulate her. But one last thing remained.
Once again I asked her, “Now if I give you one blue pen, one red pen, and one black pen, how many will you have?”
“Four!” Princy promptly answered
I replied, “How
Princy?” In a voice that was low and hesitating.
“Because I already have one pen in my bag.” Young Princy replied.
And I smiled. She was just counting how many pens she has, not only the ones I have given.
When someone gives you an answer that is different from what you are expecting, that doesn’t mean that they are wrong. There can be an angle that we might not have understood at all. We should try to embrace the assorted outlooks and understand different perspectives.
Quite often, we try and impose our perspectives on others and then wonder what went wrong. Being with kids teaches you the learning we have forgotten while growing up.
The next time someone gives you a different perspective than yours, sit down and gently ask “Can you please help me understand your point of view?”
I believe you will get an answer with a new perspective!
We are so netted with our everyday undertakings, that it’s hard to hit the reset button. We should clear the clutter from our mind and nurture walks of life with a new perspective.
Ragini Agrawal | PGDM 2018-2020