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The Tower Talk

I’ve found The Tower Talk a very powerful tool when getting a person to understand another person’s point of view. Consider a square, four-sided tower. At the top of the tower on each side is a window and each window faces to a cardinal point of the compass – north, south, east and west.

When you enter the tower and climb the stairs to the top floor, you find that when you look out of the windows, each has it’s own unique view. Looking out of the window facing North you see a wood. Looking out of the window facing East you see a town. Looking out of the window facing South you see a wide river. Looking out of the window facing West you see the sea. Now. imagine four people have grown up in the tower but have only ever be able to look out of one of those windows.

If you asked each of those people what was outside. dependant on which direction they faced, you would get four different answers, with each answer being the truth. If those four people then came together in the middle of the Tower, each would say that their “point of view” was correct and that those of the other three people couldn’t possibly be true. And so it is in life, we meet people with opinions and values diametrically opposed to our own where it’s a real struggle to understand how they can think that way.

Now let’s examine the windows. If the window only had a narrow gap to see through and a stone window frame, you could equate this to a person with a very limited point of view and a strong ego.

The narrow gap would be the inability to see another’s point of view, whilst the stone window surround would indicate it would be very hard to get them to see, let alone agree with a point of view differing from their own. Examining another window you might find it was a big expanse of glass with a light, wooden window frame, a portion of the window might even open so that you could lean out and look around the corner. This would equate to a person with a much more open mind and less ego, willing to look out and appreciate someone else’s opinion.

I’m hoping from this analogy that you will see we all grow up to a greater or lesser extent looking out of our own window. What we see can lead to an entrenched position on a wide variety of subjects such as religion, politics or even which football team should be supported. If you have only ever looked out of your own window you will only have ever seen your own point of view. It can then be hard to appreciate an opinion differing from yours. So in the future if you encounter someone with an opinion or point of view that is directly opposed to yours and you feel yourself getting irritated or angry, just breathe deep and think of The Tower Talk. Understanding it is through the other person’s cultural, religious or familial experience – the view from their window – that formed this point of view can help you let go of those emotions and appreciate why that person has that opinion. The answer to this problem is actually simple, go up on the roof of the tower and have a damn good party. From the roof of the tower all points of view can be seen and whilst not everyone may be in agreement, the differing views can be appreciated leading to more understanding and tolerance between us all. Here’s to a great party!

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