Adjusting the Set

I’ve been learning some things about perception in the last few weeks. I’m intrigued by my capacity to be engaged in the same thing at the same time in the same place with a person or group of people and have an entirely different experience or perspective on what happened than they do. The point was driven home in last night’s presidential debate where I felt one person was clear, articulate and appeared to be in charge (and no, I’m not talking about the moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS News who was – from my perspective – by far and away the best moderator of all the debates). I also thought that the other candidate was unstable and unable to convince me they had “the right stuff” to lead the U.S. out of the mess it’s in. (But then, I perceive a mess where others I’m reading and talking to perceive an “opportunity”.)

This isn’t really a post about politics though. It’s about perception.

I know the old story about the guy who was telling his friends about his first ride in an airplane.
“That’s great!” they said.
“Not really,” he said, “my wife fell out of the plane.”
“That’s terrible!” they said.
“Not really,” he said, “we were right over a lake.”
“That’s great!” they said.
“Not really,” he said, “she missed the lake…”

You get the idea.

What you know, the information you’ve been given, can change your perspective. What’s amazing to me is that I can actually be in the plane when the story is happening and when we land one of us says, “she fell out of the plane” and another says, “she was pushed out of the plane” and another might even say, “she never made it on the plane”.

I used to think facts were facts. It’s not that I’m becoming all that post-modern but I’m experiencing life with other people enough (coming up on the big 45) to recognize that “facts” is a more relative term than I once thought it was.

One of the most profoundly moving worship experiences I’ve ever had was during a Roman Catholic funeral mass. The person one row ahead of me fell asleep in the same mass.

There is an element to all of this that is just about the difference between being subjective and being objective. But there’s much more to it than that. And I can’t figure out what that “more” is to save my life!


About brianmpei

Stumbling towards what comes next.
This entry was posted in Confession, language, Meaning, perception, Reflective. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Adjusting the Set

  1. Greggmac says:

    If you want the facts just ask me; LOL

  2. brianmpei says:

    I can’t believe I didn’t think of that to begin with!

  3. brianmpei says:

    …if I could drag him away from his wood pile…

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