Tony Ruesing, CSP
It is hard to
remember a time when an example of different perception was so obvious
as the many sides of the conflict in Iraq. Because technology and
imbedded reporters give us feedback 24/7 we're able to see and hear many
of the diverse opinions about what is going on, more rapidly than at any
other time in history. The world has and is changing. Right
now that change is more rapidly occurring for the Iraqi people than in
|What I find intriguing is how the very same
incident breeds so much difference in the perception of what transpired.
Everyone commenting puts his or her own unique spin on what is
happening. One common theme that seems to run through most of the
reporting is blame. Blame is being used to discredit the other
side. As soon as one group reports something the other side with a
completely different spin reports it almost immediately. Joy in
the streets reported by one side is read as people not realizing they
have nothing to be joyful about by the other side. Blame makes
everything a fault.
Many years ago researcher Fredrick Herzberg said
that when a "dissatisfier" was identified and corrected, dissatisfaction
still existed. The energy, blame in this case, going into the
dissatisfaction of one thing was simply refocused on something else.
Rather than satisfaction being the opposite of dissatisfaction, the two
have very little in common. Hence how something is perceived is a
function of how the mind processes data and how it equates that data to
any particular situation and past experience. He/she who feels
dissatisfaction and blames as a habit may never experience satisfaction.
On the other hand, should they decide to stop seeking to blame and place
energy into finding solution and adaptation, they stand a better chance
of altering their lives and improving the lives of others. Blame
exists. The inordinate and unrelenting nature of blame without
solution can be destructive. Nay saying has value when compiled
What is real and unreal for someone varies from
person to person. Reality however is constant. There in lies
part of the problem. What is or is not real to us only represents
our perception of reality. What someone else perceives is unique
to them. Rather than tell someone what they perceive is wrong or
right, offer them an example of both and have them decide for
themselves. Teach them to choose wisely more often. Teach
them to align perception with reality. The wisdom to choose wisely
culminates in a life that has more inner peace attached, regardless of
It is easy to focus on inadequacies or the
shortcomings of other. That approach takes the heat off ourselves.
A far better approach is to challenge what we believe and hold it up to
the scrutiny of those who set the best examples. By following what
they have discovered as meaningful and character filled lives, we have a
better opportunity to also contribute.
It is not enough to do for yourself. It is
important to take your place along with others, who are making a better
world. A better world is found in helping other find peacefulness
in reality. Right and wrong is not as complicated as it seems.
If it is measured with the heart and mind, that connection can help you
love others the way you are commanded to love yourself.