The Power of Perception

6-and-9-perspectiveRecently my husband and I went on a short day trip to visit family. He was driving. I was not. He made the move to pass a car, and I asked him (my perception) or yelled at him (his perception) not to pass. I felt like I kept the family safe. He felt like I didn’t trust him to keep the family safe. Who was right? Maybe no one. Who was wrong? Maybe both of us.

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ~Wayne Dyer.  This 6/9 cartoon illustrates the thought perfectly. From each viewer’s perspective they are empirically correct. There is no no doubt that what they are seeing is correct. However, if they had come in the room on the other side of the number they would have again been absolutely certain in the other perspective.  It is easy to understand how each person has a different opinion when looking at this 6/9 illustration.

Consider for a moment, however, how often this happens in situations that are not so easily definable.  Life experiences are continually shaping and molding each person. One of my favorite quotes is by Albert Vail, “Man is what he is because of what he has been.” Is it realistic to expect a man who grew up in a small town in Indiana to have the same approach to life as a woman who lived the hustle and bustle of New York? No. It isn’t.  We only have to think about the recent election cycle to see how polarizing different opinions can be. Instead of needing to be right, why don’t we instead choose to be considerate? When I see a 6 and you see a 9 lets agree that we both see a number and find a common ground moving forward.

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