Author Colin Wright starts his book, Considerations with the following paragraph:
“Few of us take the time to consider.
It’s not that we’re ‘inconsiderate’ in the sense that we’re rude or brash or one of the other myriad associations we’ve tacked on to the word over the years, but we are often ‘inconsiderate’ in the sense that we act while seeing the world from only one standpoint: our own.”
I love the introduction to Wright’s book because it defines his personal philosophy and reminds me of the importance of having multiple perspectives in life. when we think of living a life with only a single perspective as living an inconsiderate life, we are opened up to how limited our lives can be. Wright’s quote helps me understand the importance of learning how others think about and view the world and events that occur.
What I find truly unique about Wright’s idea is the combination of actions and considerations. When we sit on our own to read, write, or ponder the world, we can be quite good at working through other people’s perspectives, but it is difficult to take those considerations and apply them to ourselves and our lives in a meaningful way. It is not difficult to think of others when you are comfortable and have a philosophical book in your hands, but when we are stressed, challenged to do something beyond our comfort zone, or forced to interact with people in new situations, being able to see and perceive beyond our own viewpoint is difficult.
In politics, outside of our own individual perspective or the perspective of the politicians we trust and vote for, it is hard to envision anything that would be good for yourself, the country, and all others. We fall into a zone where we believe that a single perspective is the best or only option, and fail to try and see the world through the eyes of others. I think one of the big challenges in our political system is that we have 300 million perspectives on government, but we try to only acknowledge the one that we believe serves us best.
I believe that Wright would agree with me and say that it is important to tie our actions with considerations of multiple perspectives, but I think he would also say that being able to see various perspectives during times of reflection is important. Reading books that challenge your perspective, thinking about others from their point of view, and acknowledging that not every thinks like you is a big step toward laying a foundation that can support considerate actions.