I know, it’s hard to believe, I finally admitted it.
Maybe you should too.
Whether we like it or not, our opinions and beliefs, heck, our entire lives have been shaped by our environment and upbringing (even if we have since rejected them). We have internal programs running unconsciously at every moment that determine how we feel, how we carry ourselves, and how we view the world around us.
The result is that sometimes we don’t see things as they are (reality), but how we are (perceived reality).
For instance, color blind people do not see some colors in their true form, but how their brain perceives, or translates them to be. In the same way, some of the circumstances in our lives are interpreted by what we perceive to be reality, when what is real is actually quite different.
Facebook is all the evidence we need to establish this point. It’s -20F out and someone posts, “OMG, stepped out the door and my blood froze. 32 days til Spring!” In come the opinion police. Some will agree, others will tell you how ridiculous the others are, some will point out that many in the world have no clothes or shelter so “Be thankful #firstworldproblems.” Then there’s the guy (like me) who loves the cold and winter who who laughs and comments, “I wish I could unlike this.”
Before long, a firestorm erupts of who is right or wrong.
Well, none of them are wrong. Reality is facts, and the fact was constant. It was -20F out. How we view this will determine our reaction.
What’s the point?
Sometimes people see things different than me. Sometimes the facts don’t matter. What does, however, is what will my reaction to others be when what they see is different than me. Will I start a firestorm of OPINION (which people rarely change), or will I be empathetic. Will I chose to put how I feel above someone else simply because it is my belief, or will I choose to suspend my beliefs for a few moments and try to see things from an opposing view.
We can learn a lot from each other if we are willing try and see what they see.