Hello there world. It's me, Bretony. This past week for me has been pretty darn, busy, hectic, and full of changes, to say the least. Not sure how I even kept up with everything! I suppose it was good to be busy. Yesterday was actually the ONLY day where I didn't do a thing. So naturally, what I DID do was watch a bunch of Youtube, Netflix, and endless Facebook scrolling. I knew this to be true already, but almost every single story these days has to do with misunderstandings between races, genders, ages, religions... just a bunch of flat out miscommunication. I have talked before about communication being the key to life, and yes, communication is very important. However, I have recently been more keen to yet another key to life...perception!
I touched on perception a bit in last weeks blog, but today I will divulge a little more. Perception is a very interesting topic to discuss. It's so crazy how 2 different people can look at the same darn thing, or be in the same exact situation, and yet have 2 completely different viewpoints. Crazy right? This just means to me that everything in life is interpretable, objectionable, and not as black and white as it seems. It's all really...gray (or grey if you live in England... or use Grey Poupon). Our individual perceptions of the tangible and intangible elements of life can come from a number of different areas. Nature and nurture are some of the most common ways. The way we grow up and are influenced by our surroundings has a huge impact on how we view the world. On top of all of this, we all have our own individual preferences and bias towards certain things. What people don't usually seem to realize is that we are all ALWAYS going to see things just a bit differently. We get so set on trying to make everyone accept things the way WE see them when we should really just be accepting that we see things different.
There was one video series I happened to stumble upon on Youtube that made perception a little more understandable. It's about white and black people trying "white" and "black" things for the first time. If you have time, I suggest watching both videos AND reading the comments (the comments are where everything will make better sense). If not, I'll explain...
Now both of these videos seem innocent enough right? Two groups of people trying new foods for the first time, and their initial reactions. In the comments section, however, people seem to be way more keen to calling out the white group for their racist remarks (when frankly, the black group had a lot of the same reactions). Our perceptions are embedded in us. Especially negative ones. We tend to see things so flatly, that we don't dig deeper into the multidimensionality that everything truly is. Perception can be really limiting in our view of the world. We see things one way, and that's usually where we stop seeing it. On the flipside, UNDERSTANDING perception can help us not to be so combative with each other at every waking moment. If someone is giving an honest opinion about something in a discussion, whether it's seemingly racist or not, listen to them. Bashing someone for being honest is the quickest way to get lied to. Understand that some people will in fact never see the world as you see it. Some people won't like the same things that you like, for whatever reason that may be.
Another interesting thing about perception is that It can determine our overall moods, for the better or the worse. Obviously, there is the whole glass half full shindig. But honestly, you can glass half full pretty much anything you want to! Let's say the weather is super rainy and you have so many things to do outside... you can see the rain as a cleanse for all the drought! Rain really is never a bad thing, we just think so for some strange reason. Who taught us that?? Changing the way you think is the quickest way to change your mood. Putting more of that into practice each day, and you start to see yourself as a much happier person in general. That is my secret people! Some say ignorance is bliss, but I believe that on the total opposite end of that spectrum, total genius-ness is bliss! The more ways you can know something, the better, trust me.
Now that I've revealed yet another key to life (along with confidence, consistency, and communication. Darn I wish perception started with a "c" right about now!), it is up to us to put it into our daily practice. Understand that we all have different perceptions of everything. Understand that this is not necessarily a bad thing, but a tool we can use in further understanding and getting along with each other. Know that we can change our own negative perceptions, and replace them with positive ones. And we don't need anything but our very own brain to do so! Try it out today. Look at something you've always seen in one way...in a different way. Maybe the cup won't be half full OR empty....
p.s. Perception is not to be confused with reality, or even opinion. Reality and opinions will always be based on perception not really the other way around. (I honestly had to say that out loud very slowly to make sure that's what I wanted to say. I'm still not %100 sure, but I'm %99!)
p.p.s. There is another set of videos (in case you are REALLY bored), about black people watching 'Friends' for the first time and white people watching 'Martin' for the first time. Keep and open mind while watching, and try not to judge the perceptions of others.
p.p.p.s I tried to incorporate Drake's 'Views from the 6' album title into today's blog title, but it just wouldn't work!