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  • Writer's picturePam

The "This Is Us" Perspective

I absolutely love the show “This Is Us”. I know I’m not alone as I’ve heard many of you say the same thing. For those of you who are not familiar with the show, it is about a family with triplets (not your typical set of triplets!) and the relationships between them, their parents, and other family. The show jumps back and forth between the life of the triplets as children, to their current life in their 30’s with their families. I have no idea how the writers can manage such a task, but they have done so well and the show’s story really draws me in!

What I really enjoy about the show is how they take a story line and expand it to view it from different perspectives. For example, the very first show was about the birth of the triplets and the story leading up to it. About half way through the season, I was confused when the show started with the birth storyline again. This time, however, it was from the perspective of the doctor and the father. It was interesting seeing the same event but through the eyes of other people. It brought a deeper understanding of the story that one didn’t get watching it the first time. It brought a whole new perspective to a story that I thought I already knew.

Why am I sharing all this? After watching the show, it got me thinking. How would life be different if we knew and understood the perspective of the people around us? What if we understood the roads taken to reach the perspective others have? How would our communities be different? How would our country be different? How would families be different? Would we have more compassion? Would we be willing to listen, not because we necessarily agree with their position, but because we understand why they arrived at their point of view? It makes me wonder.

A lot has happened in our country. People are divided politically, socially, religiously, economically just to start. Our society is so quick to judge – on all sides! People assume they know and understand the whole story. People are sure their side is right, leaving no space for listening. It’s all over social media, trying to “prove” their view is right. Have you noticed how many people are pushing their view? I wonder, have they also tried to listen? What if we all tried to actively listen to each other, without judgement or trying to get our own opinion across first? Do you honestly try and listen, or instead are you working on formulating your own ‘comeback’ as they are talking, so you are prepared with your rebuttal. I know I haven’t actively listened like I should. How could listening change things?

I am privileged to be able to listen to many people’s stories being a life coach. I must say that because of that privilege, I have a new compassion, a new understanding, a new perspective on things that I know I have judged in the past. But here’s what I know. We all have our own story, unique to us. Out of all the people ever to walk this earth, nobody has your exact story. Nobody has my exact story. How can we judge each other when we don’t even know what brought them to their position? I believe life is a journey, a journey towards understanding more of who God has created us to be. A journey towards a deeper understanding of why we are here and God’s purpose for our life. He uses our story, our journey, to help fulfill our purpose. No journey is better, no journey is worse, it’s just our journey. Listening to other people’s stories may or may not change your opinion, but it may bring about respect. It may widen your perspective. It may make you think twice about judging. It may even bring peace.

Listen. Love. Encourage. This is what Jesus did when He walked this earth. This is what we are called to do too. So maybe we can learn something from a silly (or awesome!) TV show. Perspective. Life is so much richer when we can see a more complete picture, a broader perspective. We can love others well, even when they are different from us. This is us.

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