Thursday, October 13, 2011

One Pen Ma: Different Angles

Source: Clear (Sky) Newspaper晴報
Date: 10/13/2011
Writer: Steven Ma
Translator: Tamaya

Different Angles
I like to shoot pictures from different angles. Also, like to see things from different perspectives.

Life on earth, our encounters and experiences are infinite.  A person’s outlook and attitude often determined his past and experiences. Only by experiencing would there be feelings to store within us. The more experiences, the more the deposits of feelings grow, and invariably, the more the points of views and feeling increase. 

For instance, for the burned victims, every time they see people being burned they will empathize with the victims' pain; or for those who have lost loved ones, they will be extra sympathetic to those who did too.  But, are similar experiences and encounters necessary to kindle empathy in our hearts?  Of course not!

Heart to heart, switch places; try to see from someone else point of view or position! Not saying to relinquish the required persistence but in this instance try to view the situation and feeling more comprehensively and more macroscopically. In any case, you have your own difficulty steps to take; likewise, others have their own difficult words to express. More consideration, more empathy; at least this way is more insightful than just blindly believing in your own viewpoint and blindly approving your own belief.

More angles, more understanding, more empathy and add in tolerance; this way people will be kinder and the world better. 


related essay to above article

Some people said every situation, like a silver coin, generally has two sides to it.
I’ve always disagreed.
Head or tail, sideways, rotates 360 degrees or spins 720. So what?
Different angles of incidence, moreover, position of the two sides also differs
So where come two sides?
pg 148圖文並謬

Initially Steven’s questioning the two sides of a coin puzzled me. Of course, there are always two sides to a situation. But now I understand and agree to his viewpoint on this matter.

My interpretation: Different perceptions or viewpoints on a situation originated from different departure points, so viewpoints are not limited to just 2 sides of viewpoint but myriad points of views. To elaborate, our differing viewpoints maybe as polarized and mutually exclusive as the flip sides of a coin, but with the same token, our differences may have deviated by just degrees. Recall the 3 blind men and an elephant. But of course, some situations may just have two opposing sides to it, but not invariably.  In the picture, views and positions change according to the angle of incidence according to influencing variables.

And after reading Steven's prose essay below, I will never see beggars the same again.

Heaven and Hell
In many countries, it is not uncommon to see people on the streets stretching out their hands for money or to see bona fide beggars eking out a living. In fact, in some third world countries, they are common sights indeed. But in Hong Kong, these kinds of situations are rare. It can be said that Hong Kong is truly a land of good fortunes. Even during times of weak economy or financial crisis or bankruptcy or foreclosure etc., and desperate times indeed these were; yet, one would not hear of Hong Kong residents dying of hunger because they were too poor to feed themselves.

I meant no contempt towards beggars, nor do I disparage them. If times were good, who, in their right mind, would want to squat on the streets and lanes waiting for passersby to drop some loose change? I believe they must have inexpressible tales of misfortunes and inexhaustible tales of tragedy that they would trade their dignity for mere existence through begging.

One day, while passing through Causeway Bay, I spotted a beggar from afar squatting outside a supermarket entrance. As I walked, I rummaged in my pocket for some change to give to him. When I came before him, just as I was bending down to drop a HK$10 into his metal container, the beggar suddenly raised his head. I saw his face, and was shocked by what I saw.

His face was burned. Excepting his eye sockets, his whole face was completely covered with scar tissues; red and black welts permanently froze his facial muscles; not even the smallest expression could be displayed. Yet, his gratitude shone through his eyes.

I sighed inwardly, and took out another HK$20 from my wallet to give to him. He nodded his thanks. Powerless, I turned and walked away. On the way home, the image of that beggar kept replaying itself in my head. I did not know his past, but for sure something happened that he wished he had never experienced. Over here, there’s this person with a ruined face; to survive he has to beg, all for a morsel to fill his stomach. Over there, a person with no disfigurement but spends money like water, all for an elusive quest of perfection.

The same sky above, but each to his own past; should or shouldn’t, willing or unwilling; I have no way of judging, save sigh; heaven and hell is truly but a line apart!

source: 圖文 並謬 pp 24-25
Steven's prose essay: Heaven and Hell


SM weibo: Doggie says: You think my expression looks very pitiful,
that's because you are viewing me from high above!
Why not try squatting down, the feeling will be different.

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