How you see the world and the people around you is influenced by your own experiences— and oftentimes, there’s more to the story. Learn about the importance of broadening your perspective and seeing stories from multiple views.
The different lenses we look through directly impact how we interpret stories we hear and how we view the people around us. Watch this TED talk to learn more about how our own biases can affect our perceptions of situations and other people.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie points to different stories where she or someone else only understood part of the story, which led to stereotypes and misinterpretations. Consider a story you heard recently (from the news, a book, or a friend) that fits one of these situations:
One way to start to broaden your perspective and address bias is to ask questions about the context behind the story you heard. Let’s build a richer picture of the story you heard by examining it from new angles.
Who told this story & who is the intended audience?
Whose voices might add new perspectives to this story?
For what purpose was this story told?
What else might you ask the storyteller to get a clearer picture?
How many sides of this story were told?
What are some new stories that might need to be told next?
When we break down the context behind stories, it can help illuminate our own lenses that we bring to the story. What’s one assumption you made when you heard this story? Have you changed your mind at all about this story?