“You only know what’s beyond the horizon if you are able to cross it.”
I remembered how enriching but also how challenging it can be to broaden one’s own horizon, i.e. to exceed one’s mental or even physical limits just recently, when I recalled a series of films I saw on YouTube a few years ago.
It is HUMAN by Yann Arthus-Bertrand (link at the end of the article).
As a photographer, journalist and environmentalist, Arthus-Bertrand is known for his breathtaking bird’s eye views. The film series HUMAN consists of three parts, which are not films in the classical sense. Within 90 minutes each, the faces of people of different origins, genders, ages and cultures are shown in front of a black background. These people report on their experiences and views on the “great themes of humanity” such as love, war, death, poverty, work etc. The close-ups of the people alternate with pictures of their countries from a bird’s eye view.
As simple as the concept of the film may sound, all three parts totally captivated me. Looking into the eyes of these people – and equally into their souls and what moves them – moved e. It is the fact that it’s just statements and stories in the film – not commented or evaluated – that viewer to evaluate. You are not told what to think about it – instead, the film confronts you inwardly with your own opinion.
Some perspectives and stories sounded familiar and understandable, others challenged me, astonished me and pushed me to the limits of my beliefs. For when I suddenly perceived situations from the perspective of the person telling the story, with all the emotions that went with it, my inner “commentary” changed and my view became wider. It was as if I had previously looked at an object from only one side and someone invited me to walk around the object and look at it from behind.
The picture became more complete, got new facets and dimensions, became 3D.
How often do we look at the world in 1D?
How often do we not want to leave our point of view and change to another perspective?
Why should we?
Because the world is much more beautiful in 3D 🙂
Getting involved with someone else’s perspective, widening one’s view and heart and thus broadening one’s horizon has many advantages:
The more we have seen – and if only through the eyes of the other person – the …
… easier it becomes to appreciate differences. We no longer see them as obstacles, but accept them or even see them as enrichment.
… more we consider to be possible. If we consider more to be possible, we generate more options for action. More options for action in turn lead to better decisions and improved problem solving. And if we can solve problems more easily, we have less stress. So we become “fitter” in the sense of more adaptable.
… more we become more aware of our own perspective, feel our limits and where we run the risk of isolating ourselves.
… more we become more aware that what may be normal for us can cause a strange feelings in others and vice versa. This improves our social and emotional competence.
… more grateful we look at many aspects of our own life.
… more humble we become with regard to our beliefs.
… more we perceive the world and people in a multi-faceted way.
… more we improve our ability to really get involved with our counterpart and to build up a connection.
The good thing about it is that the world becomes much more colourful and diverse for us. The price for this is that we have to say goodbye to quite simple black and white / good-bad thinking. This can be challenging because our own convictions of what is wrong and right or who is good and who is evil give us supposed orientation, support and security. But they equally prevent us from approaching each other benevolently, openly and with the best of intentions.
If you are ready to see people in 3D, then
– why don’t you take some time next week and listen openly to someone you “don’t understand at all”? Let yourself in and become aware of your limits – and then dissolve them very gently.
– look for an opportunity to volunteer in a field that opens up new perspectives (e.g. helping out in the soup kitchen, reading to children …)
– take a look at HUMAN – or if you prefer more action: I think the film “Avatar” wonderful opportunities to changing perspectives. .(Funnily enough, it even ran in 3D in the cinema ;-))
Good luck looking through the 3D glasses – there is a lot to discover!
HUMAN – Vol. 1
HUMAN – Vol. 2
HUMAN – Vol. 3