On Multiple Viewpoints and A Sharpened Scope

“Everything conceals something else.”

If one’s point of view is taken for reality, do we consider any other point of view? Taking distance from one’s viewpoint - assuming another - allows us to consider novel perspectives, improving our communication with others and with our own selves. “Journeys to relive your past?”

Ultimately, of all the dialogues that we might have with other selves, it is from the ‘inner dialogues’ with our own selves - those multiple parts of ourselves reflecting our development in a social world - that we can learn the most. “Journeys to recover your future?”

Looking for the basis of any information we come across and evaluating it within its context - acknowledging its intrinsic human bias - should sharpen our scope. “If you want to know how much darkness there is around you, you must sharpen your eyes, peering at the faint lights in the distance.”

When reviewing a short story - for example - it’s crucial to look at the point of view from which it is told. As we know, the story’s writer can choose from multiple viewpoints - such as second-person narrative, omniscient or several standpoints shared by various characters - making that choice with a specific reason in mind. That is, the writer can decide what information that point of view will know and tell (or will not know nor tell), how it can form (or deform) the story and how it could (the writer predicts) impact each reader. “Perhaps everything lies in knowing what words to speak, what actions to perform, and in what order and rhythm.”
 
When revising the political spectrum with its “left” and “right” categorizing ever-changing patterns of economic, political, religious, and social views, we may find the categories to be limiting. Yet, beyond “left” and “right” other standpoints exist. For instance, albeit the United States has basically kept a two-way system - Democratic and Republican - each of these parties may embrace conservative and liberal perspectives. “Signs form a language, but not the one you think you know.”

We ought to keep in mind that the mainstream media - an array of storytelling - doesn’t always represent the co-existing variety of perspectives. Searching on our own can give you and I a sharper scope absent from it. That way, we can arrive to a well-informed understanding of what viewpoint or viewpoints echo our footsteps. “What he sought was always something lying ahead and even if it was a matter of the past, it was a past that changed gradually as he advanced on his journey, because the traveler’s past changes according to the route he has followed.”

  • All quotes in italics are from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities
  • Collages by Aydasara Ortega