Different Perspectives


Once there was a teacher of mathematics in a school. She was teaching to a seven years old boy. She asked the boy a question, “If you buy one mango and one mango & one mango, how many mangoes will you have?

The boy started calculating on his fingers. A few seconds later, the boy replied, “four mangoes”.

The teacher was expecting a straight correct answer to this simple question. Teacher thought that maybe the boy did not understand the question properly. She asked the question again, “Please listen very carefully. If you buy one mango and one mango & one mango, how many mangoes will you have?”

The boy had seen his teacher getting disappointed by him. He was a little nervous this time. He started calculating again on his fingers. He wanted to get the correct answer this time. Slowly he replied, “four mangoes”.

The teacher was disappointed now. She was not able to figure out the reason behind the wrong answers. She thought that maybe the boy is not taking interest in mangoes. If she changes the fruit, the boy might take his interest in it. She knew that the boy loved bananas. A new hope came in the eyes of teacher. This time with some excitement and hope, she asked the boy “If you buy one banana and one banana & one banana, how many bananas will you have?”

The boy could see the happy face of the teacher. It took the pressure off the boy. Now he started calculating on fingers again and replied in seconds, “Three bananas”.

The teacher became very happy listening to the boy. She thought that her approach is successful. She was feeling like she did something remarkable. Now she asked the boy again to make sure he answers the same about mangoes. She asked, “Now if I give you one mango and one mango & one mango, how many mangoes will you have?”

Again the answer was four. The teacher was very much disappointed. She asked  the boy in irritated voice, “How? Tell me how can 3 mangoes become four?”

The boy replied in a slow and hesitating voice, “There is another mango in my bag. If I buy three more mangoes, then I will have four mangoes in total.”

People have different perspectives. If someone answers differently, do not think that the person is wrong. It may not be the answer you are expecting but it may be the right answer for them.

There can be a perspective we can’t figure out. We need to respect other people’s views. We often try to correct them according to our perspectives without listening to their perspectives.

Next time if someone tells you a different perspective than yours. Do not think as if they are wrong. Try to understand them.

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