If you follow this blog, you know that I have a monthly segment called “Story 1 vs. Story 2″ where I tell a brief story featuring two people. The same event happens to each person, but the reaction is very different. Same story — different perspectives — different outcomes.
The stars of the stories are fictional characters, but their responses are something we can all relate to. I like “Story 1 vs. Story 2″ because it is a reminder that how we tell the story is up to us. We choose how we view a situation and how we respond.
This week I was reading a great book called The Noticer and the author, Andy Andrews, included an awesome Story 1 vs Story 2-like situation. I was happy to see an author use this same writing tactic that I wanted to share it with you…
The main character in The Noticer, Andy (based on the author’s real life experiences), is young, homeless and hopeless. Andy befriends an old man named Jones who is part mysterious figure, part wise, old sage.
Early in the story, Jones brings Andy to the beach and shares a dinner of sardines and Vienna sausages. Andy doesn’t love the menu, but is happy to have any food.
During the meal, the old man asks, two questions: “What are you eating?” and “Where are you eating it?”
Confused, and thinking that old Jones has lost his marbles, Andy is reluctant to answer but finally says, “Okay. I am eating sardines and Vienna sausages in the sand.”
Jones smiles and shakes his head before saying, “I thought so.”
Now, Andy is more confused than ever.
After sitting in silence for a few minutes, Jones smirks and says, “you ate sardines and Vienna sausages in the sand. I dined on surf and turf with an ocean view. It’s all about perspective.”
I love the simple way Andrews paints the picture of two different viewpoints. Andy is down on his luck and has a narrow view of the world in front of him. Jones, on the other hand, lives in a world of opportunity and encouragement. This is greatly reflected in their response to what they are eating and where.
This is just one of the many great lessons on perspective found in The Noticer. I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a book to read.