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The Value of other Points of view

Kubler-Ross-Collage
Kubler-Ross-Collage (Photo credit: Peta-de-Aztlan)

History can benefit from including other points of view than just that of the writer.  This is where being involved in debate as an activity in school (where people practice taking both sides of an issue) can be a help to a person going out into the world.  It also helps to have the experience of living in a certain society that is not your own especially if it is in another country.  If you can’t do that then taking a job that you have never done before especially one that you perceive as undesirable or training for a career which involves a “boot camp” experience, can change your mind about a lot of things.  You might find out that people in these types of jobs or careers have some very valuable qualities that they develop by working in these fields.  Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (a psychiatrist who pioneered in the area of death and dying) once spoke to a woman in a hospital whose job was considered a necessary adjunct to patient care, but not requiring any medical training or nursing skills, and found that this woman had a profoundly moving way of being there for dying patients which Dr. Kubler-Ross deeply admired.

When working with people as individuals or groups, taking the perspective of an academic studying them from an objective stance and viewing them as something to be studied, but not people who have everyday “normal” lives, can leave out certain variables that are crucial to the understanding of how and why these people do things.  I used to think (maybe I learned this in school) that people in ancient cultures were primitive compared to our civilization now.  I shuttered at the thought of living in such barbarous times.  As I learned more and gained more perspective, I found that people in those cultures had valuable information that was lost over time and would be valuable to us in the present.  Also some of them had a more peaceful giving nature than most of us have now.

Kubler-Ross on Death

Kubler-Ross on Death (Photo credit: mtsofan)

 

 

 

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