• Nathanael Hills

Perception changes so much

Updated: Jul 4, 2019

This morning, while on my walk, I had a reminder of a simple truth that I just felt I needed to share with you.

During my walk, I crossed a white line painted on the grass. At the time I thought I’d reached the end of the line, but it wasn’t until I turned around a few moments later that I could clearly see that I was wrong. As I kept walking it dawned on me that that was a great example of perception. The photos below were of a line a bit further on, hoping that at that point I could capture an example of what I encountered earlier. They’re not as clearly different as the corner I had cut earlier but still convey the idea. In photo one, it’s clearly harder to see the line than in photo’s two and three. It reminded me that simply because I was on one side of the line, I saw things differently to someone on the other side. My position changed my perception; it didn’t change the truth – the line was still there – but it did change how I saw it.

I had a very similar moment on Tuesday at the dinner table. My daughter told us a ‘fact’ her friend had told her. We then discussed this non-fact and I gave an example of a fact, ‘these peas are green.’ As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I realised that while that is indeed true, not everyone sees them that way. A colour-blind person may see them as grey. I probably see them differently to others due to my colour weakness. Indeed, not only does our position in life determine how we perceive things but so does our ability. Sometimes that ability is determined by something physical, sometimes it’s mental. Our upbringing, what’s going on in our lives right now, and even the things we hope and dream for, all change the way we can perceive something.

Whether we take this from a people point of view or a business point of view, we must remember that everyone we interact with sees things differently to us. As a services provider, we need to be mindful of the way our customers see things, and as a customer, I need to be mindful of those who are providing me services or products. No matter what way we look at it, it’s important for us to stop and see things from a different perspective if we can. Just because we can’t see the line, or just because they can’t see the line, it doesn’t mean we can disregard their perspective. Instead, we should listen carefully to what others around us have to say and be prepared to accept when we are wrong and be corrected. Likewise, if someone else is wrong, we need to carefully correct them. Going back to my examples earlier, the line is there, our ability to see it doesn’t change that truth. The peas are green, our ability to perceive it or not doesn’t change that.

So how do you choose to respond? Are you going to respond from the perspective that what you see and perceive is correct and no amount of discussion will change that? Or are you open to discussion and examining yourself, your way of thinking, and your perceptions on different things?

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Philippians 1:6