Linda Stamper Boyne: To each our own perspective in the Vail Valley
Vail, CO, Colorado
I read with amusement Don Rodger’s column last week trying to address the needs of all the Vail Daily readers, how people from two separate local businesses felt the paper was skewing their stories either too positive or too negative. Did anyone else laugh when they read it?
It read like a joke: Two businessmen walk into a bar. The first one tells the bartender, “I’d like a drink, please. Make my glass half full.” The second says, “I need a drink too, but make my glass half empty.” The bartender pours the exact same amount in each glass and both are dissatisfied.
Is the Vail Daily focused too much on the negative, the disappointments, the poor economy, the endless downward spiral into The Great Depression II, The Sequel?
Or is it painting too rosy a picture, ignoring reality in order to portray a happy resort community, putting lipstick on a pig in order to “sell” papers? (Wait a minute! I think that makes all of us the pig, in which case I don’t really care for that analogy, unless it’s a nice, neutral shade of lip gloss…)
It intrigues and amuses me how different we are from each other, how we can each read the same newspaper and get something completely different from it.
Everyone views things differently, based on their experiences, their beliefs, their attitude, their temperament, their mood on that particular day, what’s important to them and perhaps just an innate sensibility. There’s no telling about human nature.
A recent example: a group of women who are great friends are watching the Oscars and each one believes a different actor is the most attractive. Brad Pitt, yeah, I’ll agree he’s an attractive man. Johnny Depp, ick. To paraphrase my mother, I wouldn’t touch that guy with a 10-foot pole. George Clooney, absolutely. It’s all about Clooney.
You’d think that women who are close friends, that assumedly share similar beliefs, backgrounds, experiences, have a base of commonality upon which their friendship is based, would pick the same men. But no. That’s part of what makes people so interesting.
I’m not saying everyone is interesting, because Lord knows I’ve been in situations and conversations that made me long for some wet paint on the walls that I could watch dry. And someone has probably felt that way about talking to me (or reading one of my columns!), and that’s OK.
The point is, our differences are what make us who we are, and it’s why I’m constantly entertained by meeting new people or eavesdropping on those I don’t meet. (I know. You’re going to start looking around to see if I’m anywhere nearby before you start having a conversation in public.)
Human nature is fascinating. If you have the opportunity to step back and watch people, take it. It’s cheap, easy entertainment. Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I try to create a back-story for people to figure out why they’ve reacted a certain way to a situation or said something rude when the circumstances didn’t warrant it.
I have to say, though, that people talking on cell phones in public has drastically cut into my fun. I only get to see/hear one side of the conversation and it cuts down the human-to-human interaction, an integral part of the game.
But give it a shot. I think trying to understand another’s perspective can only lead to good things, like mutual respect or at the very least, respectful disagreement.
Wouldn’t life be lovely if we could all just we all get along, respect our difference and learn to work with them?
I’ve spent a good portion of my life being a people pleaser, and frequently being disappointed or disappointing others. I know now that because we are all so distinctly and beautifully different, it’s impossible to be a unilateral pleaser.
So if I just do what I feel is right, what is kind, what its respectful of others, I can live with myself and allow others to go on their own path. I can agree to disagree.
But back to the issue at hand. Don, I think you have a great balance of the reality of the world and all that is good in our community in the Daily. And I’m not just saying that because you pay me.
Linda Stamper Boyne of Edwards writes weekly for the Vail Daily. She can be contacted through email@example.com