Wednesday, September 10, 2008
12:01:57 AM EDT
If you want to know the truth of something,
imagine looking at it from the side you can't see.
DB - The Vagabond
Good day people of the world.
That quotation came about as a result of a life drawing class. One day the teacher asked us to draw the model as if we were on the opposite side of the room. She was sitting in a chair with one arm draped over the back of it. It was very difficult to get all the details of the figure but it was a great exercise.
I carried that technique over into acting. All plays are about conflict. An inexperienced actor will just shadow box, flailing or raging into the air without knowing what he is really fighting against. I decided to spend some time imagining what the source and substance were of the force that was challenging my character. It added so many dimensions to what I was doing. It gave validity to my character's struggles.
As with all art, there is a life lesson in this technique. How much time and effort do we ever spend really understanding an opposing point of view? When in an argument, don't we rather dig in our heels and refuse to listen to the other guy?
Similarly in politics, no matter which side you're on it's common to quickly reach the conclusion that the other side is just plain wrong. Liberals and conservatives should investigate, observe and learn what the other side thinks. They should imagine things from the opposite point of view.
Think of the heel digging that goes on with religion. I don't think there is any more ignoring of conflicting views than is practiced by those who have a firm belief in their own faith. I know a woman who converted to Christianity by reading a book many "Christians" refuse to read and which, in fact, some have burned.
When the disaster of 9/11 happened to the World Trade Center a lot of time. effort and money was spent immediately to find how HOW it happened, but not a nickel was spent on WHY it happened. What would be the situation in the Middle East and South central Asia if the American could really imagine and understand the Arab's thnking.
To refuse to see things from another's point of view or even to acknowledge that he has a right to have one is pure cowardice.
To imagine life from the other side maybe won't change a person's mind, but it will enlighten him.