Here’s a thought- Why do we listen? I don’t mean listen and obey or listen and respond. Listening, truly listening for the joy of it is an art. And like all art forms, there is one basic reason we respond to it and why some music is just noise, some paintings just squiggly lines and paint strokes. We need art to be able to cultivate a better worldview.
According to Wikipedia, Worldview is the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the entirety of the individual or society's knowledge and point of view. To break it down in simpler terms, Worldview is the ability to look at the world with the knowledge and perspective of many different people compiled together.
Some art moves us because it provides us with perspective. I look at the stars and some nights, I am reminded of the way Van Gogh looked at the stars and I try to find his stars among mine. Listening to Hozier’s Someone New reminds me of something similar I thought nearly a year ago but couldn’t put into words. A quote I found goes some like this- I befriend people who make me look at the world differently. This quote is both a mirror and a window. After reading it I seek out people dramatically different from me and I start creating patterns among the people who are already my friends. This quote makes me look at the world differently.
I am obnoxiously picky when it comes to interacting with strangers, which I know, is not a very good habit. The reason I know this is because it has been pointed out by my father who can look at my bad habits far more objectively than I can. The reason it is a bad habit is because I am missing out on an opportunity to look at the world through someone else’s eyes. Listening to someone else’s story does in a way help me shape mine.
We as humans tend to drift towards people who share similar interests, beliefs and thoughts but it is far more crucial for us to interact with people who don’t. It is equally essential to find people with superficially similar interests and different cores. We need a balance of people who are mirrors and people who are windows.
Empathy and understanding are not talents but acquired characteristics. Kindness is the effect of cultivating worldview. It is also necessary to grow as a person intellectually. To understand great ideas and theories is to eventually be able to be capable of great thoughts. To be able to collect and bring together different perspectives by listening, observing and appreciating is a way to be objective but do not mistake objectivity for dispassion.
You may read my blog for my perspective on things. I am aware that many of the people who read my blog are friends feeling the weight of our time together but I hope that they do take away something new from my words and apply it to their lives. Poetry, Paintings, Film, Literature, Music are all forms of beauty and art. However, in order for us to translate what we observe into words and pictures, we need to observe and appreciate. And in order to live a life bigger than ourselves, we need to cultivate a worldview.