I remember my Design One class very well. It was a class with very smart young men and women. One of the topics we treated in that class was Perspectives, where we were taught single and multiple point perspectives.
In perspectives, you get to understand that how you see an object is purely based on where you stand and how you have decided to see it. For example, a bird in the skies, a man walking on the road, and a worm burrowing in the ground will see the same building differently. It is important for me to stress that even from their individual perspectives, the colour of the building and its major features will not change in any presentation. But the perception of the size of the building and details of specific portions of the same will vary. More interestingly, for each of these entities, their presentation will depend on whether they were seeing the building from a one point perspective or from a multiple point perspective. In summary, if the three of them are interested in telling an accurate story of what really the building looks like, the worm, the man and the bird will have to put their individual perspectives together. It is only then that each of them will have a better appreciation of the building they have been viewing.
Life and its issues play out like that almost all the time. We all have our individual views on every issue. This is because we have different skills, expectations, socialization, etc. We are therefore bound to look at issues differently. Though this does not mean people can tell blatant lies and go scot free, it should prepare us to accept that we can meet perspectives that will challenge our own perspectives.
The importance of perspectives is playing out so well in the ongoing fight against COVID-19 around the world. The epidemiologists are thinking about how to stop the spread of the virus. Economists are working to save the economy from a total collapse. Salaried workers still have their expectations of being paid at the end of the month. Employers are wondering whether their businesses will survive this pandemic. Artisans who earn daily wages do not want to hear of lockdowns. Media people want news that will keep their ratings in the skies. The truth is all these people have a very fair point of what the key issues are.
The crux of the matter, however, is how we are able to put all these valid perspectives together and fashion out the best way to deal with this pandemic with the least damage to all of us as much as possible. It is not my perspective that is the most important matter. It is trying to find good middle ground and getting the best of outcome across all perspectives. It is not going to be easy. There will be wins and losses. May God help us deal with the pain of our losses. May we also be magnanimous to acknowledge God’s goodness when counting the wins. In all this may we always accept that we are mere humans who know not all. God be with us all. Amen
By: Kwadwo Banin, Architect