What do you see?

17 Jun

People who witness crimes, and are interviewed by police often have very different stories about what happened. Their descriptions of the perpetrator tend to vary widely – some say he had brown hair, some say he was wearing a hat, some say he was tall, and others say he was average height. There is always a lot of discrepancy between those seeing the same event. The event only went one way. Why are there so many different stories? We all have our own slant on things, our own spectrum through which we see things. Perhaps the angle is slightly different, or the light is a little brighter in different places. Sometimes we think we see things that aren’t even there. There is a lot going on in our heads, and during times of excitement, that can alter what we perceive.

I read a funny article about some ridiculous answers students gave for test questions. One really caught my eye. The question was posed as a statement, “Define hard water.” The student’s answer was “ice.” I laughed because although this was not the answer the teacher was looking for, it was accurate. Ice is, in essence, hard water. The student’s understanding of what was being asked was skewed by their perception of the question. Our lives are that way. We understand things depending on where we are, and what we’re doing.

Sometimes we misunderstand messages that others give us because our perception isn’t in the same place as theirs. A simple gesture can be misconstrued to be something entirely different than it was intended to mean. A word can be said and taken out of context, and misunderstandings happen. We are complicated beings. Our lives are busy, and our minds are actively processing a lot of information all the time. It’s easy to miss a cue, and misinterpret something. It’s important to recognize that, and get the clarification we need before we make judgments.

Today if you think someone has said or done something that has offended you, clarify the situation before you accept it. You may have misunderstood. Ask questions, and find out if what you think happened is accurate. Sometimes the sun is in our eyes, or there is something blocking our view. Clarification will correct the situation. Don’t make assumptions. Get answers. Understanding what is really happening is important. Understanding is the key. Use that key to unlock the truth.

%d bloggers like this: