These days, people will use any excuse in the world to be lazy and not have to THINK. Whether it’s stereotyping or assuming things about others, anything that allows people to think less is what they tend to jump on board with and there is a LOT out there that bails them out, telling them it’s acceptable, such as the phrase “perception is reality.”
Frankly, this has to be one of the most ridiculous phrases I’ve ever heard. Aside from it usually being just flat-out wrong, what I get from this is that all a person has to do is perceive something a certain way and that makes it reality. Not just THEIR reality, but reality in general.
This is assuming that a perception could never be incorrect, which is asinine. I’ve perceived things incorrectly MANY times, so this isn’t even a hard one for me. If I don’t have any solid proof, it’s not reality. Period.
Calling something “reality” doesn’t make it real. It’s like people who like to write “FACT” at the end of sentences. That means nothing. A fact doesn’t change based on who says it, and neither does reality.
For example, let’s take where I am right now and a typical scenario. Here in Afghanistan, let’s say that we have a male and female service member walking together. Now let’s get ten totally unrelated people and ask them what they “perceive” about that man and woman. The RIGHT answer would be, “I don’t know,” but of course, people can’t seem to say that these days.
In asking those ten people, I wouldn’t be surprised if I got ten different perceptions about those two. It could be something like, “They’re sleeping together,” or “They’re co-workers,” or “They’re going to lunch together,” and so on. While there may be ten different perceptions, there are NOT ten different realities. There is only one.
Now before you say, “But it’s possible that they could be co-workers and sleeping together, too,” let’s be smarter than that. That’s not my point. My point is that without knowing for sure, what exactly do you have to go on? Guesses? Assumptions? What’s considered as the norm? The saddest thing about people who really believe that “perception is reality” don’t even seem to need any sort of proof. None at all. Once that guess creeps into their minds, that’s enough for them to believe something is reality.
Reality is concrete. Reality does not change. Perceptions can. So how exactly does one lead to the other? In my example, if ten different perceptions were made about this man and woman, which one would be considered as reality? Certainly not all ten. And NO…we’re not asking either of the two. Remember, people believe perception to be reality without any sort of proof.
The funniest thing I’ve noticed about those who believe in this “perception is reality” nonsense is that many of them are the very SAME people who would be ready to cuss someone out for assuming something about them without proof. HOW DARE THEY, right?! Oh, NOW they have to “get all the facts” and “get to know you first” and “don’t judge,” right?
Ah, yes, the hypocrites. That’s a blog post for another day.
I get that people are going to believe this no matter what I say, but it just doesn’t make any logical sense to me. What entitles people to believe that their “guess” can be declared as correct 100% of the time? Not to mention the fact that many people can perceive the same situation in MANY different ways. Again, which of those perceptions would be “reality”? The same people believing in this can’t even agree on it, so they believe in something they can’t even justify themselves. Makes sense to me.
This is my third combat deployment and one thing that has actually (and sadly) surprised me is that I haven’t yet (at least to my knowledge) been accused as being gay. Yeah, that’s happened the last two times…I’ve been accused of being gay. Now I’m not going to pretend I’m dealing with very intelligent individuals here, but let me get into the whole “perception is reality” thing. What were the reasons before that people thought I was gay? The first time, I had several female friends I often talked to. While that led one group to believe I was sleeping with all or some of them, another group would know that I wasn’t sleeping with them and BAM…that’s all the proof they needed. Sometimes, I go back and think that I wouldn’t be surprised if these women actually COMPLAINED that I never tried anything with them. Again, that couldn’t be because I respected them or didn’t want to cheat on my wife, nah…it was because I was gay. More than once, these female friends would tell me that people have said this to them. I’ve had women before who are used to getting hit on actually get upset that I didn’t do the same. But that’s apparently all the proof they need to declare that I’m gay.
The second time I deployed, I didn’t hang with anybody. I mostly did a lot of writing and when I wasn’t at work or the gym, I was by myself. I was “gay” then too, because I wasn’t hanging with females. I was supposedly “never seen with a female,” but hell, under that pretense, I wasn’t seen with males, either. So why does “gay” come straight to someone’s mind in that case? What kind of logic is that? Are extramarital affairs during deployment really THAT common as to where it is just unfathomable that NOT EVERYONE DOES IT?
As I said above, people probably don’t even think that deeply about it. It’s just an excuse not to think.
Speaking of gay, singer Freddie Jackson is still asked this question all the time, and to this day, he refuses to answer. Some idiot declared that if you’re asked about being gay and you don’t answer, that automatically means you’re gay. Again, what kind of logic is that? Seriously, I would like to know…and if you get mad at constantly being asked, apparently that means you’re gay, too.
Yes, there are seriously a LOT of delusional homophobes out there. Again…a blog post for another day.
But that’s just like if I told someone, “Hey, you like Michael Jordan. Are you Michael Jordan?” That’s not an insult to too many people, but if that friend said, “no,” let’s say I kept asking. Eventually, this would get on that person’s nerves, so they stop answering. My thought then is, “Oh, well they MUST be Michael Jordan since they’re not denying it.” One day I ask and they blow up at me. Then I say, “Oh yeah…they’re DEFINITELY Michael Jordan, because, why would they get mad if they weren’t?”
Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, right? But this is exactly what people do when accusing someone of being gay, like it’s even a bad thing to begin with. It’s the same with every other perception out there. There’s always something other than SOLID PROOF that people resort to as an excuse to “perceive” (meaning to assume) something and then have the nerve to call it “reality” just to be lazy.
“Perception is reality” is another way of saying, “My guesses are always right.” I don’t care who you are. THEY ARE NOT. If you want to challenge me on this, feel free, but I wouldn’t if I were you. I deal in FACTS and PROOF…not just “my” facts, but the facts that don’t change, even the facts I don’t agree with. I’ve been wrong enough times to know that my perception is nothing more than a guess. Even if it was an educated guess, it’s still a freaking guess. That means it doesn’t matter how old you are, what you THINK you know or what experience you have; if you don’t have proof, then you’re making a guess, which alone, is NOT reality.
I don’t expect anyone to change their thoughts based on me saying this, but if you truly believe that perception is reality, then you shouldn’t get mad if I perceive something about you and rather than asking you or talking to YOU about it, I just pass it on as being “reality.” Since I know that most people would get mad if that happened, then obviously you see something wrong with it as well. What’s good for the goose…and you know the rest.
Someone may be thinking, “So what about you, Robert? Surely, you stereotype people and have perceptions that you feel are reality.” I DO NOT. That’s my whole point. Just because a lot of people do it doesn’t mean EVERYONE does it. If I’m going to perceive something about someone, you can believe I’m going to check things out and make sure I have proof before I start running my mouth about it. Again, “everybody does it” is not an acceptable reason to do it yourself. That got played out when you were in grade school. My question now would be this…what proof do you have that “just because everyone does it” (an inaccurate perception) that means I do it also?
I don’t expect too many to challenge me on this, but even if you did, if your “reality” doesn’t involve solid proof and not guesses, don’t waste your time. That’s the only “reality” I’m interested in.