Everyone knows there is more than [two] sides to every story. It's so easy to get hung up on why some freaking jerk is being the way they are. The audacity of how some people can do the things they do. Why someone made the choice they did when you can see a totally different outcome if they had only made another. I know that you can't really judge anyone until you get inside their heads and make sense of the thoughts they think, the emotions they feel, the associations they make with their environment and past memories. In my reading travels I've come across another profound "aha!" moment...I actually get those all the time but every now and then I just like to linger and ponder on it a little longer.
This is about perspectives and how a different person with a different paradigm (new word for me, a set of concepts that shapes how a person views things - I guess, pretty much...kinda like a 'world view') and because of this perspective they decide on a different choice to a situation.
Based on our principles there are different areas of our lives that we focus on more than others. If one area is to completely consume our life then our reasoning becomes unbalanced and our life will be out of whack. These areas that we focus on become the lens through which we see things. The areas are: Spouse, family, money, work, possessions, pleasure, friend, enemy, church and self. The book has a list of descriptions to help you more easily identify with what area(s) may be affecting your effectiveness. Of course we all shift our focus on these different areas considering the different happenings in our lives. ~ There is way more to it than that but I'm still muddling it through my brains and I've only been up for an hour!
I'm going to try and paraphrase what is in the book:
Suppose you have invited your wife/husband to go to a concert. You already have the tickets; she/he is excited to be going. It's 4:00 in the afternoon. All of the sudden your boss calls and says that he needs your help throughout the evening to get something important done by 9 am the next morning.
If you're looking through the spouse-centered or family-centered glasses, your main concern will be your wife/husband. You may tell your boss you can't stay or you may stay....grudgingly.
If you're money-centered, your main thought will be of the overtime, cash-o-lla, influence and potential raise. She/he will understand that economic demands come first.
If you're work-centered, you may be thinking of the opportunity to learn more about your job, making points with the boss. Your spouse should be proud of you!
If you're possession-centered, you might be thinking of the things you can buy with the overtime cash-o-lla, your reputation at the office, everyone would know how noble, sacrificing and dedicated you are.
If you're pleasure-centered, you deserve the night out and you'll say the hell with work, even if your spouse would be happy if you worked late.
If you're friend-centered, your decision would be influenced by whether any of your friends would be going to the concert or if your friends would be at work.
If you're enemy-centered, you may stay late just to have one up over some bastard that you work with.
If you're church-centered, you might be influenced by what other church members may think, or by the nature of the concert, or whether church members work at your office or not.
If you're self-centered, you'll be focused on what will do you the most good. How the different options affect you will be your main concern.
Depending on where a person is coming from is how they base their decision. Even though it may not be the decision you may have made there are reasons for their way of thinking that makes perfect sense to them.
As I'm reading this I've already figured out which areas have taken over focus at different times of my life and how I may take in different considerations at different times to base my decision on. There is one more perspective that a person may have in choosing a decision.
A principle-centered person will try to stand apart from the emotion of the situation and other factors that would act and evaluate the options. Looking for a balanced whole - the work needs, the family needs, other needs that may be involved, and implications of alternative decisions - you'll try to come up with the best solution, taking all factors into consideration. This, of course, is the place we would like to be.