The Victors

History is an interesting concept. It is told by those who won or were victorious in their endeavors, yet it is a one sided account. This all comes back to the concept of perspective. 

Let’s take two very well known examples of what we are talking about. Thanos from the Avengers and Draco from the Harry Potter series.

The story is written from the perspective of the victors, the Avengers. To them Thanos was evil and a killer. Audiences cheered along with them and rooted for his destruction. The perspective of Thanos was much different though. He watched what overpopulation did to his planet. His friends, family, his people dying because the amount of resources were not there to sustain the population growth. His world destroyed, his people gone, he decided to force the change he advocated for. Not because he was evil, but to save others from what his planet went through and to save creation itself. I believe his intention was good, and what he did was in single pursuit of that goal. From his perspective he was a hero. 

In the very beginning Draco Malafoy was deemed evil because of the deeds of his father and who his family was. Prior to going to Hogwarts, how much exposure/ time do wizarding youth spend with families outside their circle? Do they have much exposure beyond that of their family and friends? This would also explain Darco’s initial behavior. Trying to show off his status the way he learned by watching his parents. He also has a lot to live up to/ pressure from his father, Lucious. As the years pass, Draco’s perspective is that Harry and his friends make it their mission to expose and destroy him. No matter what he does, Harry always gets the glory and Draco’s father is quick to point it out, making Draco feel even more like a failure. Then when Voldemort comes back, his father pushes Draco into the task of killing Dumbledore to save his own skin. There is no choice and you can see him cracking at the seams. From his perspective he was just trying to live up to his family’s expectations and at the end survive. 

It all comes down to perspective, and a story is generally only told from one point of view. Thus the truth of the real events is skewed.

Perspective only tells your truth but not the whole truth. For that you have to blend both sides and find the points they overlap. That’s why when researching or looking at past events, you must try to see and understand all sides to know the real truth behind what happened.

Perspective also plays in our everyday interactions…

You have an argument with your friend. She has been going around complaining about a headache for two weeks, your joint science project is due in one week (you had 4 weeks to complete it), and she hasn’t even started her part. From your perspective she is just being lazy and wanting you to do all the work for her. The headache is just an excuse to get pity from everyone. From her perspective: She is extremely nervous about the project because if she doesn’t get a B then she will fail. She starts having extreme anxiety about it which causes horrible migraines. She knows your upset with her, but she doesn’t understand why you are not supporting her through her pain.

Same situation, two very different perspectives… and no one is being honest about what their truth is. You are not talking about your frustration and suspicions that have manifested from the frustration. Your friend is not being honest about her anxiety and how it’s causing her real physical pain now. 

Only knowing one side will give you a completely different feel to the story.

Always seek to see the other side/person’s perspective. Be open to learning/ seeing to what is really going on, and be honest about what is going on with you. Only then will we find the truth.

About the author: Lisa Barnett