Where to begin.
You may not think this to be a deep or massive subject. Or maybe you do understand this to be the case. I’m not sure. Either way, I’m going to try to begin to scratch the surface on what I believe to be the end all to total chaos… Perceptions.
This goes to every level of the being. Everything from what we have “learned” as a child to what we “learn” as adults. I put those “learn” words in quotes for a reason. What we supposedly “learn” may not really have any significance at all. It all has to do with what we perceive that is what we believe to be true. At least for our own lives.
Even such things as “culture” or what culture we have grown up or lived in is still a perception or has its own perceptions that have been created. Not necessarily correctly. Just that they are a part of our understanding of how things are. In actuality they are really NOT!
Why is it that we perceive everyone to understand things the way we do? Why is it that we perceive that others should or do believe or feel or live the same as you or I. Do they have the same history? Did they grow up with the same values? Did they get up this morning with a roof over their heads, shoes on their feet, food in their belly, love in their hearts, family gathered round or nearby? Do they have money in the bank, a dog to call their own (insert pet of your choice if you don’t like the dog comment)? Do they have the same religion or any religion at all? Did they grow up in or are they living in a free society? Do they have running water or dependable electricity? Do they have health care or do they have insurance or have they even ever seen a doctor in their life?
We tend to perceive everyone from our own perspective believing somehow that they should understand everything that we do the way we do just as we do. While this may be a normal thing, it is not right. I hesitate on that word because “right” or “wrong” is also a perception in many things (if not most). Still, it is a misconception to think that others see things the way we do at any given point.
I have written about this in other posts to some extent. It still breathes in my very being. To understand perceptions is a feat of untold difficulty. It is a challenge greater than most in that it requires one to be sensitive to a level of understanding that few have ever even taken a glance. Maybe because it requires a level of thought much deeper than the individual can fathom. I’m not sure. I know I try in as many ways as I can but I fall short of my own expectations so often on this that I dare not expect this of others. A plethora of books have been written. A multitude of people have studied the intricacies of the human Ego. Much has been said. Much has been done. Very little knowledge has truly been attained. Maybe its not that so little has been attained as it is that the subject is so vast.
How do you teach one to be perceptive of others perceptions? How do you encourage someone to be mindful of others needs, feelings, history, thoughts, and/or other factors. We can only imagine. We have not yet begun to be able to read a mind or thoughts. Is it possible to gather enough information in a brief moment to evaluate the perceptions of the other person enough to credibly understand what they are perceiving of us?
We perceive that the person that cut us off in traffic is a bad driver or rude. Is this true? Is it possible that they got up on the wrong side of the bed (so to speak)? Is it possible that they are late and are in danger of loosing the only source of income they may have to pay their bills? Is it because they just learned that someone they love is dying and their mind is not focused on driving? Is it possible that they have their child in the back seat that they are headed to the doctor? Yes, it’s possible. It is also possible that they are a bad driver and ARE rude. Actually, in this society, it is much more likely to be the first but it is still possible for the other.
Why do you think the person behind the counter gave you the wrong change? Why do you think your food order got mixed up? Why DID that person cut you off? Why were you hung up on? Why are people lazy at work? Why do other nations hate the US? Do they really hate the US? If so, why are they trying so hard to come here? Why does this person or that person believe the way they do? Why is it that others believe differently than you? (or I) What makes you think that everyone else has the same education as you, the same mental capacity as you, the same financial situation, love relationships, family relationships, or even a similar belief system in any capacity as you or me?