We’ve all heard the famous quote, “Never judge a book by its cover.” But how well have we performed this mantra in our practical life?
We blindly believe what we see in front of us, and don’t always think to fathom it. Sometimes we impulsively make judgments based on our perceptions, but fail to analyze how we came to those conclusions.
Suppose you meet someone for the first time in your life and after spending some time chatting with them, you feel that you don’t like some character traits and you wouldn’t want to meet them in the coming. This person may have had only noble intentions towards you and turned out to be blunt due to their straightforward nature. However, something in their personality caused you to have an instant negative perception of them.
The perceptions that form in our minds the first time we meet people can stick in our heads like glue and sometimes seem irrevocable. We tend to constantly build and feed vague initial perceptions by overthinking and seeking validation. As humans, we have the power to turn these perceptions into permanent opinions and beliefs, and that’s when it all goes downhill.
False perceptions could eventually cause us to miss many opportunities to make irreplaceable connections with people and things. An example may further elucidate this point: you walk into your class and when you converse with a classmate, you see him fidgeting with his fingers, and from there you perceive that he is bored in your company. Later, you complain to another friend to get confirmation that your classmate wasn’t interested in the conversation because you’re boring or rude. Although there may be another reason behind their behavior, you form that opinion based on what you perceive.
In my opinion, impression and perception are two different concepts and should not be confused as the same thing. An impression is “an effect produced in the mind by a stimulus or sensation” or “a general opinion or feeling, without knowing much”.
On the other hand, perception is “the way something is viewed, understood or interpreted”. Perception, then, is a way of analyzing someone’s expressions and words and trying to decipher things to the best of our ability. Therefore, our perceptions differ from others because the values and notions embedded in their mindset differ from ours. An elaborate example may help you understand my position: one of your friends may enjoy spending time with the person you dislike, but it is not fair to blame them for this action. They saw this person in a different light than you and therefore perceived him as a good natured person. For example, they might immediately understand each other’s jokes and share the same interests.
Therefore, we must respect other people’s ideas when they go through a different thought process to arrive at a perception, which may be contrary to our own. But that’s ultimately what makes life beautiful. Listening to the opinions of others opens the windows of our mind. To make our life worth living, we must embark on a journey of tolerance for the perspectives of others. Undoubtedly, we will gain a bundle of knowledge from them, and perhaps our perception of the current matter might change significantly.
For example, you complained to your friend a few days ago about how your life has become hectic due to consecutive classes and you desperately need a break to relax at home. This friend of yours then arranges a meeting, but does not invite you and you are heartbroken. You quickly criticize her for being a negligent or selfish friend. However, in her defense, she states that from what you told her, she thought you didn’t have time to see each other because you wanted to relax. Therefore, she decided not to disturb you, whereas in your dictionary: the definition of relaxing could have meant going out and socializing with friends.
So, to sum up, we should take the time to consider things carefully before passing judgment and think positively. There are indeed endless possibilities for perceiving things in different ways if we look at them through different lenses. As young individuals striving to become the best possible version of themselves, we must first learn to be open to wholeheartedly receiving diverse opinions from others. We should also be willing to change our perception if new information about our area of interest comes to light.
Posted in Dawn, Young World, October 15, 2022