Personal Experience Creates Personal Point of View

This week, something my Father wrote in his weekly letter to the family made me chuckle. Not because the underlying event was funny, (the Battle of the Bulge was horrific), but his comment about attending a presentation about the Battle of the Bulge hit a truth-bullseye.

Photo of soldiers at the Battle of the BulgeTo understand his comment, you must know that my father served in the 3rd Army as a foot soldier. He landed on D-Day on the shores of France and then got a not-so-wonderful tour through Europe, including the famous battle known as “The Battle of the Bulge”.

In my Father’s letter this week, he mentioned that he attended a Son’s of the Utah Pioneers’ event, where the speaker recounted his experiences with the events of the Battle of the Bulge.

My Father’s comment was “It was told from a 3rd Army Headquarters’ view. I did not sound like what I experienced.”

Here were two men, both of whom were involved in the Battle of the Bulge. Yet, as they each recount their experiences, their recounts don’t match.

Many in today’s world would jump to the conclusion that one of them was a liar or one of them is wrong. But that is not the truth. Both experienced the famous battle from a different position, which gave both of them a different perspective on what was happening.

We would do well, as a world-population, to remember that I can see the world one way and my friend, neighbor, co-worker, fellow-citizen, or citizen of another country can see the world differently. That does not make me right and them wrong nor does it make me wrong and them right.

My Father was able to see the Battle of the Bulge from a different perspective as he sought to understand and learn from the speaker who had seen something entirely different than he had seen. He came home enriched and reworded.

Would that we would do the same with everything we encounter each day!

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