“It is always so easy to give advice and admonish people around me. I often give advice to friends because I always know what is best for them. But even more often I get surprised when they don’t take my advices seriously. How dare people ignore me when IOFFER my help, when I seek the easiest solution for their problems, when I spend my own time and energy fixing their lives instead of doing something more interesting. How blind the person must be to not see that my advice is the easiest, the best way to solve the problem. I just don’t understand.”
These are the thoughts that went through my mind when a high school friend of mine, Scarlet, told me that she didn’t want to JOIN the Track and Field team, which we decided to join together in the Spring semester. “Scarlet is so weird. Running is good for the health, you get to spend more time on the fresh air and it’s just fun to run. I don’t understand why someone would refuse to run every day”, I thought.
But giving advice is always much easier than actually following them, especially when you see the situation only from your own perspective. Before I began persuading Scarlet to join the team, I did not even have the slightest clue that I should probably look at the situation from her side and that the advice that I would give might not be the best option AVAILABLE. There are always different perspectives of every situation and every decision, therefore there are always several ways to solve the problem.
But I did not understand the concept of the different perspectives at the moment when I was trying to persuade Scarlet to join the team. Instead, I began thinking of the arguments that would make her change her mind. I noticed that during the practice Scarlet was always the last runner on the team. I knew it was annoying when you always ran behind everyone else, so I supposed that this was the main issue as why she wanted to quit. In my first attempt to change her mind, I decided to APPLY a sense of ethos by relying on the team’s reputation, its responsibility for all the runners, team bonding, and friendliness of other girls. I said:
- You know, when I first joined the team, I also was the slowest runner. And because I was always so far behind from the whole team, I often got lost, especially when we ran in the forest. But if anyone went missing, the whole team would immediately come back for that lost person. And if you need to tie your shoe, the whole team would stop and wait for you. Furthermore, everyone on the team is very friendly and OPEN, so you will easily make new friends there.
But Scarlet was silent. And I was confused. I did not know why she wouldn’t say anything. I supposed that my argument wasn’t convincing enough, therefore I decided to CONTINUEtalking. This time in order to persuade her, I used pathos by appealing to Scarlet’s emotions, her sympathies, and love for animals. I said:
- Do you remember when I told you about those huge lake turtles in the forest that we ran by every week? You could finally get to see them if you run with us.
I knew that Scarlet always wanted to see these huge wild turtles that I told her about each time I came back from practice. But she wouldn’t go to the forest alone because she was too afraid to get lost, and we never got the chance to go there together because of our busy academic schedule. It seemed to me like the chance to finally see the turtles will make her want to join the team. But Scarlet remained silent. We CONTINUED walking towards dining hall in complete silence.
As we sat down at the dining table and began eating, I noticed that Scarlet barely took any food – just a salad and a plain yogurt, while I had a full plate of chicken nuggets and chocolate muffin ready to be eaten. Her food choice seemed weird to me because as long as I remember, Scarlet always ate much more than me. “She must be on a diet”, I thought. Following my instincts, I decided to APPLY logos persuasion by relying on some simple and logical facts – the more you run, the more fat you burn, the skinnier you are.
Long-term diet is not healthy, “said I. “Obviously, physical exercise is healthier, and a much more effective way to LOSE WEIGHT. Besides, a week ago I read in the “Health” magazine that all the toxins leave the body through sweat, which makes the face skin look smooth and clean.”
But Scarlet CONTINUED eating, and we just ate silently throughout the whole lunch. Finally, she got up, took her backpack and said:
– I need to go to class – and she almost headed towards exit, but she turned to me and said – you know, when I was asked you to join the school choir with me, you refused. You had YOUR reasons for that, even though there is no harm in singing. – and she went to class.
“Of course, I had a reason, several reasons” – I thought as I was sitting alone, finishing my chocolate chip muffin – “I hate singing, and I am too bad at this. I am just not passionate about singing. It is just ridiculous – why would I spend three hours per week doing something that I hate, when I could work on my homework instead? Scarlet is just so weird” – I though once again.
But a moment later, I realized what Scarlet actually meant. I suddenly became so embarrassed of myself for not understanding the very basics of human nature – before giving advice, it is essential to look on the situation from the different perspectives, especially from the perspective of a person who you are giving advice to. I realized that my arguments were not persuading, but rather upsetting, because I pointed out on the issues that probably didn’t even bother Scarlet that much, for example the fact that she is the slowest runner on the team or has an excessive weight. I just wanted her to like what I liked, wanted her to think the same way I thought, wanted her to be like me, and did not accept her decision because it was not the same as mine. It was not her, but me who was blind and “weird”, because I did not want to see anything besides my point of view and did not want her to consider anything, but my advice. That was the moment when I realized that there are always different perspectives of every situation and that one solution can APPLY to one person, but never to several different people.
The lesson that I learned from the story that I wrote actually changed my perspective of life. It is not that I have never understood that there exists more than just one perspective, but I actually began to apply this knowledge to the daily life. I remember how annoying I always was in my high school years once I learned English; I was constantly giving advises, consultations, always pushing someone to do something, always thinking that people are weird, even stupid for not doing what I could have done in their situation. But after this particular conversation with my friend Scarlet I understand that I was wrong.
The most difficult in this essay was to prove my thesis that there are always several perspectives of every situation. The problem is that Scarlet didn’t say her point of view about not joining the team, which makes reader think that there actually no perspective, besides my own. But in this essay I wanted to say that even though Scarlet did not say her reasons to quit the team, it doesn’t mean that she didn’t have the reason to do so, therefore she had her own unique perspective on the situation.