If Perception is Reality, Does the Truth Matter?
By Bernadette A. Moyer
If perception is reality, does the truth even matter? You can take two people who witness the very same things and yet report on it in completely different ways. How does this happen? Do we believe what we see and what we know? Or do we believe what we want to believe?
If you were unaware of the recent riots in Baltimore City I could take you to several neighborhoods in Baltimore city where you would walk away with a high opinion of Baltimore. I could take you to Oriole Park at Camden Yards for a baseball game and you could take in a state of the art professional baseball park that is loaded with all kinds of amenities. You would see that Baltimore has a lot to offer or to Harbor East with beautiful water views and numerous boats on the water. We could share a wonderful meal in Little Italy or many of the other famed restaurants in Baltimore. I could show you inside John Hopkins hospital that is truly a caring and innovated hospital and respected worldwide or tout the many accomplishments of Loyola, Notre Dame and John Hopkins Universities. The Baltimore Basilica is stunningly beautiful too. All are located in Baltimore City.
But if the only thing you witnessed about Baltimore was where the recent riots occurred and the knowledge that Baltimore City just had one month with more than 40 homicides, would you ever believe that this was a good place to visit or to live or to eat?
The same can be said for our relationships where we see the best in others of the very worst in them. Do we see people for who they are or do we see them for who we want them to be? Do we judge them on one view or a total picture? I work with many parents who are bewildered by the things their adult child have said about them, their truth doesn’t match up with what the parents say and believe to be the truth. Does the truth matter? If we say something long enough does it become our truth rather than what actually transpired? If we perceive it to be true, does that make it so?
It’s been said that in a court of law often the side that wins has the better debater and the truth takes a back seat. There is a term called “convenient truth” where what is expressed is just that “convenient.”
I’ve worked in public relations for many years, always highlighting the accomplishments while downplaying the weaknesses. In these situations you could do the reverse and have a very different outcome and yet both presentations would/could be based in truth.
Our own perceptions can be our own truths. The prism that we view life from is based on our reality and our own unique life experiences. “Black lives matter” is a slogan that has popped up in Baltimore and I personally would never have isolated “black” my perception and my reality would be more aligned with “all lives matter.” Because in my reality I never experienced being “black.” We think we know and yet one of the wisest statements I ever heard was “you don’t know just how much you don’t know.”
Does the truth matter? If we perceive it does that make it true? If perception is reality, does the truth matter?
Bernadette on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer