Friday, June 13, 2008

Depth of Perception

I had to read Angels and Insects by A S Byatt for a class once. I didn't really love the book, but a short story within the story about Morpho Eugenia has a fairy who says "things are not what they seem" over and over. (I hope I've remembered this right, I'm not taking the time to google it) Anyway, there have been so many times that I have thought about that quote. It's really not a new concept, just said a little differently. It is no different than "perception vs. reality" or soothing someone's hurt feelings by saying "they really didn't mean it that way."

Working in a place with so many different personalities is an unbelievable life experience. I've had the opportunity to learn so much, and so much of it has to do with perception. A person's perception is their reality!! Regardless of whether it is your perceived reality, actual reality (whatever that is), or even in the same zip code as is still THEIR reality. They live with the fears or sadness or dissatisfaction caused by their own perceptions. And no million minutes of talking with them and trying to get them to see the other side of the coin will change it. It's incredible how strong the feelings are that come with someone's perception...and equally incredible how far off target they can be.

My hope as I go through life is to remain open-minded to the fact that my perception may not always be reality. To always have the awareness that any situation can have many different interpretations. And to always be the person who (gently) tries to help the other see that there could be other possibilities, there is always a different way to look at things, there is always another reality. And like the fairy in the Byatt book said: Things, indeed, are often not what they seem.

No comments: