Thursday, July 19, 2012

Perception is Reality

Perception is Reality - Or is It?

Have you ever heard the phrase, “perception is reality?” It is one of my favorites. I did some research and found that the phrase, “perception is reality” is credited to Lee Atwater. Atwater was a political consultant and strategist. I have used the phrase, “perception is reality” for years when educating and mentoring students. I am always lecturing students about how perception is important, and how it affects everything in their lives, from relationships to jobs.

The other day I found myself looking at the phrase, “perception is reality” in a different way.

We have new neighbors. They are very friendly, kind and terrific neighbors, but my ‘perception’ of them originally was not impressive. These neighbors are different from everyone else in the neighborhood. In the early morning, they like to sit in their garage and just hang out. I walk every morning around 6:00 and I always see them and wave as I walk by. There they are sitting in their garage having a pleasurable time, working on the computer, listening to music or playing the guitar, just as if it was their family room.

Now… I live in Phoenix and in the summer time; no one sits in his garage at any time. My perception of this family was not pleasant. Then, I got to know my neighbors better and found out that they work nights. Their mornings are like my evenings. In addition, the family comes from a part of the world where sitting in your garage or in the front of your house in warm (hot) weather is customary. My perception of this family was way off!

So next time you make a snap decision about someone or something think about it. Maybe “perception is not reality.”

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