Perception

Firstly, sorry I’ve not posted for a few weeks – I’ve just moved house into a new area, so I’m getting to grips with the place and trying to meet new people!

Perception interlinks with many of my previous articles – in the way that everybody thinks. Perception is, quite simply, everything a person bases their opinion(s) on.

It’s such a wide-ranging subject, it’s quite hard to pin-point a place where to start, and I’ll only be covering a small amount.

So many aspects of life influence individuals to think the way they do. Natural perception is a double-edged sword, it can be a beautiful yet a terrible thing.

In Western Civilisation, we have the luxury of free speech (and thought). This is a luxury which I, for one, take for granted. I feel my life should strive towards making enough money to support a family, having a good standing in society and being respected by my peers. That is a fairly common feeling in the capitalist state I’ve been brought up in, and no doubt matches the aims of basic fulfilment in life for many people.

In Eastern culture, no doubt the basic aims are similar; achieving a means to support a family and respect amongst communities and work-colleagues. There are massive differences in culture though. Free-speech isn’t always free. Culture is very different in the aspects of things we take for granted, such as healthcare, policing, law and justice amongst many others. Whilst we barely notice the level of infrastructure around us, some countries struggle to feed the population, law is marshalled by gangs, and such things as basic healthcare are non-existent.

Of course, from these two different extremes (being very general), perception of the same entities can produce completely different results. Take, for example, a lingerie model. In western civilisation, a model is common to see – and a fair majority of men might indeed think to themselves, “What a beautiful woman”. In contrast, in countries such as Iran – where women are very much second-fiddle and are indeed treated as such – a man might think this same woman was shameful and ought to be punished.

In some of the cases I have seen and read, it calls forth a recollection of George Orwell’s iconic tale 1984. The idea of thoughts being marshalled, and often marshalled by fear. Not just fear of civilisation around the given thoughts, but fear of being punished by a God.

Whereas perception is a product of everything around us, I find it almost a shame in the idealistic world that we don’t have a natural perception from our own minds. We are so heavily influenced from the way we are taught, it’s almost as if our thoughts aren’t even our own. We are taught the language we think with, by teachers who teach their style of language. Each and every subject we learn is the same; learning from parents is also very similar. Essentially everything that we actually think is the product of something or someone else. Quite a surreal thought, in hindsight – is anything original?

The luxury we have in being in such a free country is the freedom of literature, speech and thought. We can ‘choose’ what we feel and can research and develop our feelings in numerous ways because of our freedom to do so.

I find that hate is bred from ignorance of the unknown, as is commonly seen in the countries we live in. This is only worse for the countries without the basic freedoms we have. Without freedom to information and thought, hatred can be bred through generations – whether it be towards America, or the Jewish faith. We should take advantage of the liberties that we have and exercise the use of information we have been privileged with.

So perhaps the next time you dislike, or even hate something – it might be worth looking into the subject matter more, before placing your judgement.

After all, there are two sides to every story.

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11 responses to this post.

  1. A welcome return to form.

    Reply

  2. Posted by boatacrosstheriver on October 11, 2010 at 19:01

    I like your point that little that we think, perhaps very little, can be called original. We have all been brainwashed by our respective societies to some degree, at least…your post reminds me of this book I read called The Four Agreements.

    Reply

  3. How I agree with this – we are all a product of outside influences, parents, teachers, governments, etc., and we have to learn to question and test all our beliefs before accepting them as fact. I would be interested in knowing the author of The Four Agreements and any other relevant literature.

    It is so nice to have you back, Mikey. At the very least, you make me think… and I need the brain exercise, lol!

    Reply

  4. Just quite interesting to think about. What is actually original? Any new ideas or theories etc. are just elaborations of ideas already learned.

    Thanks, Denise! I’ll post regularly again now I’m settled. Thanks for the kind words, hope you’re well

    Reply

    • The ‘nature vs nurture’ theories… For what it’s worth, I think most peoples are born much the same, but they are molded by their circumstances. However two people, say twins, could turn out quite differently – why? Very complicated… also some people are more easily influenced than others. And I have known people who never question anything they were taught as children, by either parents or teachers; they just accept these opinions/teachings at face value!

      Reply

      • I was actually reading up on a very similar topic recently. I think nurture makes all the difference – naturally. A genius can’t fulfil his potential without adequate education and facilities and such situations.

        Twins is a very interesting one. Even if genetically the same, it would be impossible to lead the same life, and have the exact same influences. Especially with jealousy involved! Is a fascinating subject, twins, though. Might be worth a piece.

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