An Australian tourist, draped in the national flag, walks through the graves at the Australian National Memorial in the town of Villiers-Bretonneux in France, during Anzac Day commemorations.
An Australian tourist, draped in the national flag, walks through the graves at the Australian National Memorial in the town of Villiers-Bretonneux in France, during Anzac Day commemorations. ALASTAIR MILLER

‘Those who were dancing were thought crazy...'

PERSPECTIVE is, simply put, a point of view, a way of regarding something. Every argument debate and even discussion occurs because of individuals differing perspective. It's become so incredibly important to us yet we are both beholden to and blinkered by the beliefs that shape our world view.

There is a wonderful quote by Friedrich Nietzsche who said that "those who were dancing were thought crazy by those who could not hear the music" and so it is for all of us.

From my perspective, I relate to the fact that we don't see people as they are; we see people as we are and so in order to see things differently, as Nietzsche implies, we have to have our perspective changed.

So here's a very brief story about shifted reality. Each year one or two schools from our region (and many more from across the country) take groups of students to Gallipoli to understand better the history of the battles fought between the ANZAC troops and the Turks in what today is regarded as a beautiful memorial and sanctuary and what was, in the Great War and most certainly 1915, an absolute hell-hole.

My story relates to a young 16-year-old who was travelling with her classmates and who had read all of the history of the place and various battles fought and legends created. It was part of her studies that year and the school, students and parents had fundraised in order for the class to travel across the world to attend the ANZAC memorial.

For her and her classmates it was exciting to be travelling. It was a huge eye opener as many of them had never travelled further than the capital city in their state. They did all of the things that you do; agog at the airport trying to look cool, getting tired from travel and amazed at what they saw, experiencing different cultures and languages that had them as the outsiders, Skyping home and talking to family and friends about the adventure.

Sure, this young girl was interested in Gallipoli but not really involved until there was a moment of realisation. Oddly enough it wasn't the ceremonies - as moving as they were - that changed her perspective or hit home for her emotionally. No, what it was - as she later told her parents - that really changed her world and impacted on her about the reality of war, was that when she walked amongst the grave markers how many of those stones marked the dead had been killed at the same age as she was.16.

Our perspective changes and often it's not because we want it to. What do you need to do to change your view?

Nick Bennett is a facilitator, performance coach and partner of Minds Aligned: www.mindsaligned.com.au



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