I recently received the galley of The Power of Civility, the book of which I am a contributing author. The instructions were to read the galley and report any errors.
My first read was on my computer. I noted a couple of minor errors; a missing “s”, a missing word.
My second read was on my e-reader. I noticed an unnecessary apostrophe and a superfluous “it”.
If I had read a hard copy of the book I’m sure I would have noticed a different type of error.
Another reader of the same galley would, I’m sure, have found different points to report than those I found.
Different formats, different eyes, different discoveries. We all see things differently. Viewing things through the eyes of another can be revealing. The elderly person who survived the Great Depression stashes food. The student from India, who insists on calling me Mrs. Suzanne, even though I’ve repeatedly suggested simply Suzanne, is conveying respect. The childless woman who can’t attend a friend’s baby shower. The friend who exhibits an irrational fear of water/clowns/dogs. If we could see the world through their eyes then food, dogs, clowns would look differently to us too.
None of sees anything exactly the same as anyone else. Ask a police officer about eye witness reports and how they vary. We see through our own eyes.
What if we tried to see the world through the eyes of others? Would we be more understanding? More compassionate? More tolerant? More grateful?