“Until the lion learns to write, every story will glorify the hunter.”
– African proverb
This quote, these words, are quite profound.
I consider something to be profound when there’s an understanding of a simple meaning that breaks through into a greater meaning.
What these words remind me of is that every being has its own unique perspective. To the caterpillar I picked up this morning, I am a life-threatening monster. To my 5 year-old niece, I am a strong loving presence whose arms she can jump into. The caterpillar and the child would describe me (the same me) in completely different ways.
Applying this concept to my understanding of historical events, to the media I consume, to the stories I tell myself about the world, to the way in which I listen to another human being… I become aware of perspective, of framing, of context.
The lion will never learn to write. But I can do my darnedest to understand her perspective, even when I only have access to the hunter’s version of things.
How many perspectives do you choose to see?