It’s a 6. No, It’s a 9.

When our son was just starting to learn his numbers, he had a really hard time with the number “6”.  In fact, he refused to acknowledge it.  If we showed him a picture of a “6”, he would flip it around and say it was a “9”.  The more we insisted it was a “6”, the more determined he was to show us it was a “9”.  He even went so far as to skip 6 entirely when counting to 10.

We began explaining to him that the 9 can actually be two different things, depending on how you look at it.  If you turn it upside down, it becomes a 6.  It all depends on how you look at it. We told him some things can actually be seen in more than one way. 

It took a while, but one day he just got it.  He looked at a 6 on a flash card and called it a 6!!  He started counting to 10 and including the 6!!  And one day he said, “Mommy, the 6 is an upside down 9!!” Something amazingly beautiful had begun. He started saying that a “W” was an upside down “M”, and that a “P” was an upside down “d”!!!  In a very elementary way, our son was learning the meaning of perspective, and how sometimes we aren’t looking at something the wrong way, we are just looking at it differently because of where we are in relation to it.  Sometimes when we disagree on something we believe so firmly, we deny any other perspective.  We eliminate the “6” from the number line and look at you like you are crazy, just as our toddler looked at us. 

I later came upon an image captioned “the 6/9 perspective” and it made me think of my son and his own personal, literal experience with it. You will find numerous versions of this image on the internet, some with a quote about perspective and some suggesting revisions to such quote(s).  We all have different perspectives even on the matter of perspective!


1. Have you had an experience where your views on something significant to you flipped a complete 180 degrees?  If so, what happened to change your perspective?

2.  More commonly, we don’t completely change our particular beliefs on a matter but can open the door to understanding the other side’s point of view.  Has there been a significant door opening for you on a matter you thought was more of an absolute truth?

3.  Have you had an experience where somebody would not give your perspective on something significant to you any benefit of the doubt? 

If you would like to participate in a quick survey on any or all of these questions, please click below, then watch out for the results, analysis and commentary by the end of the month!

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