First, second, third...

Personal development
29 May 2023

Teg thinks, yes - Teg thoughts on ‘Mental Health’ challenged us on Saturday.

May we add to that?

How does Sir David Attenborough manage to stay so emotionally detached when he reports dispassionately on the merciless behaviours we see in Nature – such as Sealions shredding Penguins for the fun of it?  As Alfred Lord Tennyson's says In Memoriam A. H. H., 1850 in Canto 56, (and I quote:)

Who trusted God was love indeed

And love Creation's final law

Tho' Nature, red in tooth and claw

With ravine, shriek'd against his creed…

Nature is ‘red in tooth and claw’.  And yet, Sir David can say with authority, “Here we are… the trials of Life…”  What he is speaking from is what psychologists call: “Third Position.”  This is a way of seeing your situation from a totally emotionally detached position.  It’s like a Broadcaster or Journalist, simply observing without becoming emotionally ‘hooked’.

1st position is your position.  It’s seeing the situation through your eyes, hearing through your eyes, and crucially feeling through your emotions.

2nd position is seeing, hearing, and feeling the situation through the eyes, ears, and emotions of any other involved party.

So, 1st position says that person parking outside my house is rude, inconsiderate, disrespectful.  Can’t they see that there are other places to park that doesn’t inconvenience others?

2nd position says that, “I have an urgent need to park in order to meet my commitments to others – specifically getting my diabetic mother to hospital.  I don’t think I’m blocking anyone else in.”

3rd position says, “Look at these two parties – they are not walking in one another’s shoes!  If only they could see, there is a way for them to enjoy a win-win outcome in this scenario.  Maybe they could support one another.”


If you’re irritated, annoyed, jittery about any situation at the moment, fully embrace the way you’re seeing it, hearing it, feeling it.  But realise that this is only ‘Step One.’

Take another step and imagine yourself in the shoes of however many other parties there are.  How would they see it, hear what you’re saying, feel about this?  This is ‘Step Two’ or the ‘Second Position.’

Then become the reporter from the BBC, CBN, CNN, Sky… you get the point.  If you were just gathering ‘News’ – how would you report on the situation?  This is the ‘Third Position’ of ‘Step Three.’  If it’s parking, are there multiple alternative options that all parties are failing to see?  What are the needs of all parties?  How urgent and important are they?

When you can view any scenario from your shoes, your neighbour’s shoes, and the shoes of a dispassionate reporter, you have real power to make informed fresh choices.

As John Lennon said, “Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”

If you desire freewill today, first see the situation from the three distinct viewpoints.


A Moodscope member

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

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