An Impossible Perspective

Photo by  Josh Calabrese  on  Unsplash

You can put on someone else’s glasses,

but you’ll never be able to see how they see.

You can sit side-by-side with someone and watch the same movie,

but you still won’t feel what they feel.

We have no way of viewing the world the way another person does.

And sure, it’s a nice gesture of empathy to imagine ourselves into their circumstances,

to offer up “Well here’s what I would do if I were you,” 

and even “Here’s what I did when that happened to me,”

But I wonder what would happen if we were simply brave enough to say instead,

“I don’t know how you feel, but I’m willing to sit with you through it anyway.”

I think our attempts to relate to other people are beautiful,

but they are also sometimes selfish attempts to resolve the discomfort of what’s really true:

that we cannot relate at all, that we do not know how that person feels or what they are seeing.


The truth is: it is impossible to see the world through the eyes and experiences, lenses and filters of another person.

But it is not impossible to be daily aware, ever cognizant of this fact & adjust our living accordingly.