We all have them. On many different topics. With certainty we share them with others. Our point of view quickly repels other views that don’t match ours.
Did you ever consider your point of view a “half truth”? When is our point of view a weakness or a strength?
Our points of view are always incomplete. Their accuracy varies widely depending on the individual.
Points of view depend, deeply, on our level of knowledge about the topic we are commenting on. As we learn new things or experience new things, our points of view may change. We need to continually test our points of view for reasonableness and adjust them accordingly.
Experience affects our points of view in a slightly different way. No two situations are exactly alike yet we are quick to group things together. Once we understand the variance and nuances that make each situation similar but not alike, our points of view also begin to evolve and change (hopefully for the better) over time.
Adjustments are good for our survival because changes to our points of view will sharpen our intuition so that we make better decisions as time goes on. A side benefit is that we can give others better advice because of what we learned. But like anything, it takes work to continually test and adjust our points of view based on new experiences and learning.
Weakness in points of view appear when we are isolated. When we are by ourselves. When there is no new information that is strange, different, or conflicting. When we don’t reflect on what others have shared with us. When we don’t leave a conversation a bit confused or uncertain about the validity of what others said against what we believe to be true.
There is strength in different points of view in conversation. When there are more of us, to complete a picture, with differing perspectives on what we see and feel. This is where the power of groups and meetings can be effective when people share their views openly. A diversity of thought (together with respect & tolerance) is needed to fuse the different points of view into something that is different for each but relevant for all. The hard work that needs to be done here is to listen and reflect rather than dominate a discussion.
Diversity of thought is necessary to grow, learn and change. Confronted with points of view that we don’t initially agree with, and that may confuse us is powerful and life changing if we choose to listen and contemplate on what we heard. (Reading a book or a blog is another way to expose yourself to diversity of thought.)
When groups focus on only one point of view, they most likely will fail and their ideas will be weak and stale. Individuals face the same fate when they remain close minded.
None of us has complete knowledge. Carry your points of view with you, sharing them openly with humility and interest. Respect others points of view even when they are different.
Continually revisit your points of view and help them evolve into something new that will be more helpful to you and others, through conversation or reading, into the future.