Peggy on Perception

How can people look at a particular situation (whether "people," "things," or "events") and come to such completely different conclusions? How can they hold such different interpretations of reality? Understanding such differences depends upon recognizing the "power of perception."

None of us sees the events of our lives in a totally objective way. Our views are determined by our own personal attitudes, values, beliefs and expectations—and our own personal agendas made up of our learned, but ever-changing, needs, wants, fears, etc. We then filter everything through this lens that makes up our individual "world view" and assign meaning to the people, things, and events in our lives based on our personal interpretation. So the best way to understand our drastically different interpretations of things is to recognize the incredible power of the way each of us perceives the events in our lives.

While this is true when it comes to dealing with affairs, it's also applicable to all areas of our lives. So the next time you hear someone say something that sounds absolutely crazy to you, you'll get a very different understanding if you realize that each person's perception makes perfect sense based on their own unique way of viewing the world. Stopping to consider what has gone into their particular world view (which determines their perception) can make a tremendous difference in our ability to relate to each other more effectively—within our families, at our places of work, and in society as a whole.