Sunday, July 25, 2010

“Do We See The Things The Way We Are?” – Prof.M.S.Rao

"We do not see things the way they are but as we are" – Jewish proverb

A woman appears beautiful to someone and might not appear beautiful to another. A person seems to be good for someone and might seem to be bad for another. Why is it so? It is all due to our perceptions. John Keats rightly said, ”beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.” Similarly what appears beautiful might not be beautiful for others. At the same time, there are certain things that are common and universally accepted. Therefore, the statement, ‘we see the things the way we are!’ is appropriate in few contexts but not in all contexts.

Belief Vs Reality:

Is there any difference between beliefs and reality? The question sounds odd, right! Yes, sometimes what people believe is totally different from reality. Initially people believed that earth was flat, but the reality is that earth is round shaped. There were certain beliefs that have been proved wrong over a period of time when clarified and verified with realities.

Usually we see the world not the way it is but the way we are. It is rightly said that nothing is either good or bad but the thinking makes it so. It is all how we perceive the people and the world around us determines our attitude. All people are good as there are no bad people in this world. At times, the circumstances and experiences make people either good or bad. To state further, no man is entirely good and no man is entirely bad.

What is Perception?

Let us briefly look at the meaning of the word perception in this regard. The origin of the world ‘perception’ is from Latin word, ‘perceptio, percipio’ and that means ‘receiving, collecting, action of taking possession, apprehension with the mind or senses.

It is like perceiving whether the glass is half full or half empty. It is a kind of perception although both statements, ‘glass is half full’ and ‘glass is hall empty’ are correct and convey the reality of the level of water in the glass.

A girl may love a boy. However, the boy may treat the girl as a friend. It is all perceptions. We look at people with different lenses. At times we need to change our lenses as we might be wrong. We often judge people wrong. Therefore, it is essential to take a relook and view things with different lenses.

Perceptions and Conflicts:

Several conflicts arise at the workplace due to improper communication, ego clashes and lack of empathy. It is true that conflicts arise because of different perceptions as well, as people see the same thing from different perceptions leading to conflicts. In this regard, empathy is essential to eliminate conflicts. It is equally essential to crosscheck perceptions as perceptions could be wrong.

People look at the world they would like to view. It could be either from positive perspective or with negative perspective depending on their experiences. At times, past experiences shape perceptions. Therefore, we form our views and opinions and arrive at conclusions based on our past bitter or better experiences.


Below average individuals emphasize on individuals, average individuals emphasize on issues and above average individuals emphasize on ideas. It is all based on the individual perceptions.

As your attitude determines your altitude, your perceptions determine your personality. We all think constantly. Why should not we think positive rather than negative? Why should not we see the world with optimism rather than with pessimism? Why should not we look at similarities rather than differences to make a difference for the mankind?


laxmi swetha said...

It is rightly said that nothing is either good or bad but the thinking makes it so.
.......excellent statement.
(keep it up)

laxmi swetha said...

past experiences shape perceptions.
..its 100% true.
good research.