Perfection of Perception
By Deborah Blackwell
There seems to be some confusion in my house about what “clean” is. I’ve been called a perfectionist when it comes to cleanliness. But the rest of my family? Forget it. To them, clean is crusty dishes in the sink, clothes dropped wherever they were standing when they took them off, and beard trimmings as bathroom decor.
But they live with me—someone who washes her dishes before they go in the dishwasher, separates her laundry, and of course, has a bathroom free of hair. Of any kind. Which made me start to question perception.
Perception is defined as “the result of observation, a mental image, a concept. Part of consciousness.” I think it’s also about comfort.
Everybody has their own idea of what will make their world the most comfortable. And it’s not working out too well. Why does everybody think everybody else is wrong?
Sometimes people are wrong. For instance, moral consciousness matters. When one person’s perception of what’s ok when another’s isn’t, especially where gender, race, and power are concerned, humanity is in trouble.
Or, the impact of ethical consciousness. When our thoughts about a particular situation reflect our behaviors—like deciding not to buy chickens abused in corporate processing houses—it drives our decisions.
How about the growing awakening of spiritual consciousness, which impacts our individual perceptions of the Divine. “We are all one, not separate from God, but part of God.” This leaves a lot to think about.
Perception is the basis of all consciousness—how we view situations, and life, and respond to it.
No two people have the same perception. We are driven by our values, our needs, and our comfort levels. We are unique in what we think and feel, even when we try to walk in another’s shoes. Empathy helps, but it’s not the definer.
Which brings me back to the crusty dishes in the sink and a bathroom floor covered in hair. Does it really matter? Maybe not.
But paying attention to someone else’s perception – and giving it some thought – does.
And it’s applicable to just about everything in life…which from my point of view, is perfect.