Yesterday I told someone a very personal story: it is one of my favorite ones, a brief summary on how I came to form my perspective. I thought I would share the story with everybody:

The pride of my hometown is a huge palace with beautifully maintained gardens. When I was a child, one of the main attractions in these gardens was a couple of swans. It was a big deal when the swans laid their eggs in spring and I wouldn’t be surprised if even the newspaper reported when the young ones hatched. Exciting stuff! However, what totally eluded me was that these swans were black-neck swans, a species native to South-America and very rare in Germany. For me they were simply the only swans I knew, so I just assumed every swan has a black neck.

When I got my first job, I moved away from my hometown. One day I went to the shores of a lake with a friend. And there they were, the beautiful white swans. White from beak to tail feather. I exclaimed: “They don’t have black necks.” My friend laughed at me and said: “Don’t be silly, swans are always white. They don’t have black necks!”

Then I moved to New Zealand and… the first swan I saw was black, entirely black. I can’t remember when I last saw a white one. I wish I still had my friend’s phone number :)