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Perception - Where did it come from?

We would visit family members' and friends' homes when I was little, probably in the single digits. Often if it were a new build or our first time there, they would take us on a "tour" of their home. At first glance, it amazed me at how every room looked as though a Better Homes & Gardens catalog was there to photograph it. Then when we would inevitably see the "master bedroom," THAT was when I knew if they were rich or not. Do you know how I knew? The pillows! If the beautifully made bed had more than the standard two pillows - they were rich! It was sound science as far as the seven-year-old me was concerned. If they had one of those round tubular pillows? Well, all bets were off; in my book, they were nearly royalty!

This was my perception. No one ever told me, "The more pillows on someone's bed is equivalent to the amount of money they have." No one. I cannot even tell you where or why I perceived - pillows = $$$$ I cannot tell you at what age I understood this not to be true. I can tell you, I have no less than seven pillows on my bed and still want one of those tubular ones, and I am not rich in the sense of what my seven-year-old self thought "rich" was. That's the thing with perception; what I feel is rich is not exactly what another person might consider rich.

Most of us have seen some optical illusion in our lifetime. Whether it is the picture of the "Old Lady/Young Woman" or "The Rabbit/The Duck" (the links are google searches for those who have not a clue of what I am speaking of), optical illusions are perceptions. What you see is neither right nor wrong; it is what you perceive. In life, we sometimes perceive things that are definitively right or wrong. Still, people will insist that they are right, even if others, science, or even their own eyes have proven them wrong. This makes relationships difficult to put nicely.

If I look at this picture and say I see a vase, while you say you see two faces staring at one another, neither of us is wrong. I hardly believe that our friendship would end over us not finding an agreement over which was correct. In fact, after a little discussion and pointing out the noses, lips, or the top of the vase in conjunction with its base, we might even come to an agreement that we were both right all along. Regardless, we certainly would not end a relationship over our perception of a photo. Sometimes in life, an event is seen differently from each others perception. Neither is wrong, but each refuses to listen to the details and try to see it from the perception of the other.

Still, there are those perceptions of things that are just flat-out wrong. Where did our perceptions come from? Some of them are in direct correlation with stereotypes. (I wrote about those back in 2015 here.) Some are based on our experiences, or how, where, and the era we were raised. If you have never seen the movie Crash (2004), I highly recommend it. The perceptions of every character throughout the movie take you through a rollercoaster of emotions. You get to see the same events from different views. You may find a reflection of yourself in one of the characters. This may change your perception; it may not. At the very least, I hope that before anyone attacks another before you let your need to be right rule your world before you let a relationship wither away, you take a breath and look at the situation from another's perception.

Love Lots; Smile Often



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