V is for Viewpoint
Exploring different viewpoints and perspectives in our writing gives our story depth, which allows the reader to clearly visualize a situation or a setting and to develop an understanding of the characters we portray. This is an exciting part of writing because we don’t do it naturally in real life. Our personal experiences influence our viewpoints and once we have formulated a specific opinion, which in our mind is validated, it isn’t always easy to open our minds to a different stance.
I do like to think I am open-minded and I’m only stubborn when I know I’m right (which is, naturally, most of the time – if not all of the time :) ). In my previous role as head of school, it was important to be open to other viewpoints. Seeing the bigger picture is necessary to making sound choices which allow for growth and development. But, I have experienced the most bizarre confrontations which have tested my ability to accept another viewpoint.
In the midst of the busiest time of the school year when the budgets are distributed, ordering is being organised, external examinations are going on, recruitment is taking place etc..etc.. (a highly stressful time of year) an extremely important meeting was requested by a child’s parents. Naturally, I always made time for parents, especially when they felt it was important. Generally, important meetings requested were to discuss the child. But no…
The topic of conversation was ‘soap dispensers’. Hmm. Surely I was being ‘Punked!’ It tested my open-mindedness to the point of brain freeze. However, from their viewpoint, this was a highly essential and necessary topic of discussion. All I will say is, I conducted myself very professionally and duly noted their request. (But, no.)
Are you more open-minded in your writing than in real life?