A teacher was teaching mathematics to a six year old child. She asked, “If i give you an orange and an orange and an orange to keep then how many oranges will you have in your bag?”
Within moments boy confidently replied, “Four.”
Teacher was disappointed to hear the answer because she was expecting a simple, easy and correct answer – Three.
She thought may be boy didn’t hear well and said, “Please listen carefully. It is very simple. If you listen carefully then you will be able to answer correctly.”
Then repeated question, “If i give you an orange and an orange and an orange to keep then how many oranges will you have in your bag?”
Because boy saw disappointment on his teacher’s face, he tried again counting on his fingers and this time hesitatingly replied, “Four.”
Teacher remembered that boy loved strawberries so she thought that may be because orange is not his favorite fruit, he is losing his focus.
This time with excitement and twinkling eyes teacher asked, “Son, if i give you a strawberry and a strawberry and a strawberry to keep then how many strawberries will you have in your bag?”
Boy counted again on his fingers, with a hesitant smile, boy replied, “Three!”
Teacher had a triumphant smile on her face as her new approach was successful.
Once again she asked boy, “Now tell me If i give you an orange and an orange and an orange to keep then how many oranges will you have in your bag?”
Seeing teacher happy, Boy immediately replied, “Four.”
With slightly stern and irritated voice teacher asked, “How! Tell me how?”
In a low voice with hesitation, boy replied, “Because i already have an orange in my bag.”
When someone gives you a different answer than you expected, it is not necessary that they are wrong. There may be an angle that you don’t understand at all.
We must learn to appreciate and understand different perspectives. Often, we try and impose our point of view on others and then wonder what went wrong.
The next time someone gives you a different point of view, sit down and ask softly “Can you help me explain it again?” Then listen to him completely, try to understand him from his point of view.
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