This simple exercise doesn’t result in anger or dismissal; in fact, it’s just the opposite. it shows us that the more different ways we look at the same thing, the more we understand, and hopefully accept as being “true” about it.
When we look at something with both eyes open, we see things literally “eye to eye”; and we refer to the experience as “binocular” vision. This is also known as 3-dimensional vision since seeing “eye to eye” allows us to perceive depth.
Many people see societal things very differently from how we see them. The list of such things includes: political, economic, and philosophical viewpoints; and stereotypes of race, religion, sex, age, and many more. If we insist that our personal way of seeing these things is the only ‘right” way to see them, we invite the trouble I referred to when people don’t see “eye to eye’: elements of anger; unwillingness to be persuaded; and dismissal of the other view as “wrong".
What can be more exhilarating, more central to learning, than to step into the mind of an artist and see how they experience the very same object as you? Nor does it matter whether that artist is world-renowned or a preschool child. Both can enlighten us with the capacity to defy common sense, and arrive at a deeper truth about something. Whether it comes to us as visual, musical, literary or any other form, challenging what is intuitive arouses and thrills us. It speaks to our natural love of whatever is new (i.e., “neophilia, about which I’ll write more in the last two chapters of this series).