Turn my world upside-down

Except of course the map below is not ‘upside-down’, just a different representation from the one most of us (I am guessing) are accustomed to seeing.

I have spent extra work time this weekend prepping for a seminar presentation, and have looked out a number of graphics in support of the words, wanting these to have some metaphorical relevance. You’ve probably seen a similar map to this one before, but it’s one of my favourite images because there’s so much to derive from one graphic.

Even things that one is factually aware of are seen in a new way, such as: I knew Russia was big but wow—Not to mention Canada, Greenland / Kalaallit Nunaat… Then there’s the matter of seeing the traditional political ‘power base’ nations now ‘on the bottom’ (as it were) of the world. Most of all, there’s the importance of seeing things from a different perspective.

Yes, that important skill of being able to look at things from a point of view other than our own. It supports the powers of empathy and compassion. It helps prevent us from taking a single perspective as ‘reality’ – whatever that is. Perspective taking—seeing things from a different point of view—can take practice as a skill, but it’s valuable politically (though I personally am struggling with that one right now!), in the workplace, and our home-lives as we co-exist with others.

For those who write fiction, it’s important to be able to ‘step into’ a character, feel what they feel, see their ‘reality’ and bring them to life.

So often, as the map suggests, we are seeing the same thing, but from different standpoints.

Image by Pyty, Royalty-free stock vector images ID: 1042293796 Shutterstock

22 thoughts on “Turn my world upside-down

  1. I don’t think I have ever looked at it upside down! – silly because you only have to turn your atlas upside down. Yes, Russia is BIG, so is Greenland. Can’t even find UK ha ha! You could just make up a whole new set of countries for a novel – think I’ll leave that to someone else.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think if this also brings us humility in not being able to find UK, that’s probably in order right now!
      Yes, it’s like those maps that show the ‘Pacific-centric’ view, reminding us of what we know but can forget, e.g. how close Russia is to the USA. Australia to Asia, etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this so much. Perspective taking is a lost art, and I think we need to teach people how to do this more regularly. Your map here is a great illustration of that!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you – that will be one of my points in the presentation, that if we’re going to work together we need to understand there’s no single reality and to appreciate others’ perspectives (or words to that effect!)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. You are absolutely correct, Russia is huge!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, Russia stands out the most!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Crossing 11 time zones, what an extraordinary place.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow this is really a beautiful read. Seeing things from a different perspective is so important. Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading. Reminds me that reading others’ blogs is a good way to gain a variety of perspectives.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Interesting… I am going to try this … next time I get stuck in cliches…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, sounds like a good use for it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah… thanks for the idea…

        Like

  7. Now i’m curious about the map. I can envision an upside down atlas in my mind, but i don’t think i’m getting what you mean.
    Anyway, on the perspective point of things, i like to consider the other side of the argument – even if i won’t agree – and lately i’ve been trying to explain this to my oldest. Not everything that is true for you is true for others. If the other person believes in something, that thing becomes real, even if you believe it’s not.
    Or, there’s a quote i read once: There’s his side, there’s your side, and then there’s the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great quote. I think it’s about seeing things one way as a supposed “reality” (e.g. North America is at the top), then seeing it from a different standpoint. I guess with our children we’re trying to develop critical thinking skills to encourage them to analyse and to question norms.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I like it very much. I’ve seen many maps, different perspectives (Europe-centered) America-centered, drawn-out (other projections) but never upside down.
    Which is really a convention. Is the North rely “up”?
    What was your presentation about? (Curiosity killed the cat, I know…)

    Like

  9. The Pacific-centric version is interesting – reminding us how much of the world is ocean – and how geographically close are USA and Russia. The presentation was perspective-setting as a leadership skill – hey, no snoring at the back!

    Like

  10. Thank you for this refreshing post! I had never seen this before 🙂 How can we continue to move forward without making a conscious effort, to flip everything over and look at it from the other side.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re right, it is about making the effort to do so.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Being able to look at things from a different angle, or someone else’s perspective is crucial. Especially for a writer. Great point.
    Also, I like how you called it Kalaallit Nunaat. I thought I was the only one that does that. It drives people crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hedged my bets and called it both! But we have to change over at some point – I guess that’s seeing the indigenous POV.

      Liked by 1 person

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