I recently, unfortunately, heard about a 21-year-old’s death after he drowned. Its painfully horrifying. My deepest condolences to the gentleman’s family. As a Google-er, I had to Google up the incident to satisfy my curiosity about how exactly the event unfolded. I heard the story from the family’s perspective where the mother was responding to one of her life’s greatest grievances of losing her only son- the same individual who was born and raised in her house and brought pride to the family with every achievement. Then I read the newspaper story where the individual was referred to as a 21-year-old “man”. That word, ‘man’, completely removed that story out of context for me. Now it was not anybody’s ‘son’. Rather, it was a man who drowned because he did not wear a life jacket. The impact of the story disappeared. The sorrow vanished. The story was now merely some words on a page. It was another one of the million news stories we all read on a daily basis. No emotions attached.
Now that I reflect on it, it makes me realize the power of perspectives. Give any story a context and have it narrated by someone who it mattered to, and emotions find their way into it.