November 4, 2012
Lately I have been thinking about perceptions. Everything we do and everything we say in life is open to the perception of others. Though we may feel that what we say is innocent or our action may be noble as we see it, others without the benefit of having the whole story may take it in a completely different way.
Case 1: A customer walks into a store where an employee is talking in the back with another employee. As the customer approaches the counter the one employee says “Hey you have a customer” the employee looks out and says “Yea well he can wait. He’s not that important”
Perception: The first employee is stunned at the rudeness of the other employee and threatens to call the manager.
Truth: The employee and the customer have been friends for years and joke all the time with each other
Case 2: You go to a party or just hanging out with friends and their family. One person is sitting to the side and not talking very much. When approached they tell you to go away and leave them alone. They are not interested in talking.
Perception: This person is stuck up and rude. Why bother being her at all.
Truth: The person just lost a loved one to cancer and was brought here to try to get their mind off of things
In both of these cases what was perceived and what was the truth were very different. In just seconds we make a decision about what is going on around us. At that point, there are several choices that we have to make. We can act on our first perception, we can reevaluate or ask questions to better define what is happening, we can start rumors about what we think, etc. In Case 2 for instance, the first perception is rudeness. If we were to reevaluate and ask questions we could ask “Is everything alright?” or ask one of their friends if something was wrong. At that point we learn the truth and perception changes.
On our forums we have a post count. Some people look others don’t. I for one could not tell you what my post count is because to me it does not matter. It is just a number.
Perception: If you have a low post count you are not active.
Truth: in some cases this may be truth but, What if their count is low because they spend a lot of time in chat, on Google+ Chat, or on Skype Group helping others.
As I said many things are open to the perception of others. The point of this sermon is to ask that you open your minds to allow for the second evaluation time to work before we make judgments on others. Look for the truth that lies behind our initial outlook. Many people say you only get one chance to make a first impression and that may be but, to bring ourselves to a higher enlightenment we need to rise past the first impression and give others a chance to show who they really are. In time all truth will come out those that try to hide who they are will eventually show their true colors.
That being said I would like to add a side note. Always be true to who you are and if you choose to change do it for you and not someone else. If you change for them what happens if they leave. Be well and make a good first impression and a better second one. Give others a chance to show who they are and love them for that and not what you want them to be.