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Assessing things from a different perspective

What a great idea; consider what life is like in the other guy’s shoes. It can change your outlook.

Students, administrators and police were asked to do role reversals at Waterford High School recently, part of a case study by Dr. Carol Hobert, a professor at Boston University who utilizes such role playing to help better understand and promote conflict resolution.

Twenty-two students, six teachers/administrators and two Waterford police officers participated. The students had to handle a challenging scenario from the perspective of playing the roles of parents, faculty and police. The police argued from the perspective of students who got into trouble, while faculty members play-acted the role of students familiar with the and entangled by the scenario presented.

The scenario was hardly farfetched. A party is held shortly before graduation. A high-performing student-athlete soon to graduate gets caught with a little pot. Complicating matters, it comes from the stash of a mom prescribed medical marijuana. It has the potential to ruin the student’s college plans.

In this highly partisan time, many of us could benefit from considering the standpoint of others, rather than retreating to the comfort of the like-minded perspectives of the fellow members of our “tribes.”

It is easy enough to turn to people, networks, websites and reading sources that enforce one’s viewpoints. But truth growth − and a strenthened argumet −might come from considering where those “others” are coming from.

 

The Day editorial board meets regularly with political, business and community leaders and convenes weekly to formulate editorial viewpoints. It is composed of President and Publisher Tim Dwyer, Editorial Page Editor Paul Choiniere, Managing Editor Tim Cotter, Staff Writer Julia Bergman and retired deputy managing editor Lisa McGinley. However, only the publisher and editorial page editor are responsible for developing the editorial opinions. The board operates independently from the Day newsroom.

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