Taking On Multiple Perspectives For An American Adult

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The idea of taking on multiple perspectives can be applied to many scenarios, from making decisions as the president of a nation to running a day care. One of the most accessible perspectives for an American adult is the small business. By engaging in the perspective of other people at a business you either work at or are a customer at, you gain a certain understanding that makes you more relaxed and more pleasant. For example we can take an almost universal experience in the developed world, ordering food at a fast food restaurant.

Let’s say there is a line of customers during the lunch rush at your average fast food restaurant. The line is taking extraordinarily long because there is only one person running the register and one person
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Next in line is person B. Person B realizes that everyone in line is there for food and must be just as hungry as they are. He realizes that there are only two employees and that they are working very hard to serve as many people as they are, perhaps they have been in that situation. Person B has a greater understanding of the perspective of those around him and in turn is much calmer than person A.

This example of taking on multiple perspectives shares in Zhuangzi’s philosophy but is different from his examples. The closest example would be the story of the butcher. “A good butcher changes his chopper every year because he chips it. And average butcher changes it every month because he breaks it” (Zhuangzi, ch.3). This is demonstrating two people, doing essentially the same thing, but the way they do it makes their life more or less difficult. As the butchers gain a greater understanding of the oxen they become more proficient.

“When I first began cutting up oxen, I did not see anything but oxen. Three years later, I couldn’t see the whole ox. And now, I encounter them with spirit and don’t look with my eye … That’s why after nineteen years the blade of my chopper is still as though fresh from the grindstone.”(Zhuangzi, Ch.3)

In the restaurant example person B is a better customer than person A. In something as simple as being a customer it is safe to say that becoming irrationally upset would be analogous to
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