If someone were to ask me what my favorite fictional book is, I would most likely say “To Kill A Mockingbird” without much hesitation. There is a variety of reasons why this story has such a special place in my heart, and I won’t go into any details because that’s not important right now. However, there is one quote that I always remember when thinking of the story, and last week’s AnoNatsu (episode 5) reminded me of it almost immediately. That quote is:
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
The essence of this statement is to be mindful of the feelings of others. What you feel may not always be correct, and from our lack of understanding, we run the risk of saying or doing things that unintentionally hurt others. The scene that sparked this topic from the episode is, of course, the conversation Kanna and Tetsurou at the bus stop while waiting for the rain to subside. Kanna, who’s feelings have been contorted by her recent visit to Kaito and Ichika, lashes out against Tetsurou by saying “You have no idea what it’s like to be in love!” Given what she was feeling at the time, her explosion is not all that unexpected, and she does immediately regret her harsh words towards her friend. Yet, at the same time, she is only seeing things from her own perspective and has no clue how painful her words must have been to Tetsurou.
Is it her fault for not knowing of Tetsurou’s true feelings? Not really. There wasn’t really a way for her to know how far her accusation would push Tetsurou. Not immediately, though, as the man took it with dignity and did not let his true feelings show. However, it is Kanna’s fault for not exercising care in her words. She was very wrapped up in her own thoughts (and understandly so), but that’s no excuse for not being considerate of Tetsurou, especially considering he was trying to help her.
Nor is is there ever a real excuse for not being considerate of other people, and we must be especially vigilant in times of stress and anger. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve lashed out against the people close to me. Sometimes unintentionally, sometimes out of anger, and in my mind my actions may be justified because of whatever stressful situation I may be in at the time. However, would the situation look the same if I was seeing things from another person’s point of view? It is irrational and silly to think that I could go about life never offending people with what I say. But what I can do is be mindful of other people’s feelings and point of view when I do offend someone. In doing so, I may be able to prevent future situations from escalating into something much worse.
I hesitated in writing this because I know I am among the most woefully inept people at following through on what I’ve discussed. But one day, I do hope to not think only from my perspective, but also look at things from the point of view of others. And that makes this worth writing about.
Toradora: You’re a Pain in My Back, Minorin – TWWK wrote a post recently on the same topic. I recommend checking it out because it is an excellent story of introspection and very easy to relate to thanks to the author’s personal touch.