Thursday, November 15, 2012

Finding the Real Reality

I've heard people say, "Perception is reality." That's not true. Perception is important and should be considered, but it's not reality. Reality is reality. Settling for perception is a lazy person's way of decision making; a lowest common denominator mode of thinking. We want real facts, not assumed ones.

An important challenge when encountering disagreement is to determine whose position is closest to reality. This often requires work and always requires honesty.You don't stick to a position because dropping it may hurt your pride or your image or lose some friends. I've found large numbers of people who refuse to adopt a good idea because it wasn't theirs. They stick with positions out of tradition or because of a reluctance to admit that another approach might have merit. They frequently fall prey to the loose use of labels, which is quite dangerous. Once a label is attached, thinking usually ends.

Lest we get too smug, we should recognize our own ability to fall into the same trap.
Periodic and respectful reviews of opposing opinions mixed in with large doses of candid introspection can be powerful antidotes. So too is a commitment to discovering reality.


Paula said...

Extremely true. I've found that the power of perception can overwhelm reality, making it oh-so-difficult to overcome! I think this may have escalated with the rise of social media and "instant everything."

Michael Wade said...


I think you are correct. That, and the emphasis on avoiding the appearance of impropriety.