Story 1 vs Story 2: Looking At The Same Thing, Seeing Something Different

Story #1

The bright red balloon slipped out of the hands of her niece, but Carol was too busy talking with her two sisters to notice as it floated up, up and out of reach of the young child. Too young to speak, the baby was only able to tug on her aunt’s shirt and point up to the ceiling. Carol looked up and smiled. “Oh what a beautiful red balloon,” she exclaimed as she stood up to retrieve her niece’s pried possession.

Story #2

Barb was in the middle of another story about that jerk from work, so she was not aware of the red balloon that escaped the hands of her niece and drifted to the ceiling. Right at the climax of the story, Barb was interrupted by the child who was tugging on Carol’s shirt and pointing toward the sky. Barb looked up and frowned. “Jen, honey, you really should clean your ceilings,” she said to her younger sister. “That thing is filthy.”

Story #1 vs. Story #2

In the first time ever in the history of Story 1 vs Story 2 (and what a grand history it has been — 3 whole posts!) we the same occurrence told from the perspective of two participants.  Same party, same sisters, same ceiling, same balloon.

One saw the balloon and smiled. The other saw the dirt on the ceiling and frowned.

It is a case of seeing the glass half full or half empty. A classic, if not overused, example, but an important reminder that how we tell the story is up to us. When something unexpected tugs on our shirt we can respond by seeing the dirt or by smiling at the shiny red balloon.



Photo credit: Wikipedia