Warning: If you are easily put on the defensive, this post is going to piss you off. I suppose I should say that before almost everything I write.
We have all heard the saying “Perception is reality.” I am about to explain why this colloquialism is false. At this time it might be good to quickly review the following link which attempts to explain the question, “Is all truth subjective truth?”
It is fairly easy to see that perception is NOT reality. Combat veterans instinctively understand the fallacy of the saying. If you do not perceive a threat it can still kill you. Think of perceiving there are no enemies in the area. Your guard is down and suddenly your buddy drops from sniper fire. Hmmm, the perception was not reality, was it? I don’t mean to limit the logical understanding of reality to combat veterans. Most of us live our lives in the real world. It takes years of higher education to beat the common sense out of us.
As sayings work their way into the popular culture the humor or nuance of the original meaning is often lost. Just think how many times you have heard people say “It is what it is” (a Greg Gutfeld banned phrase.) as an answer to difficult to face things as if it is the final word. There is a time to accept things and a time to resist things, like the urge to beat the crap out of your Senator neighbor over lawn mowing techniques. Yep, that’s a felony. PS a $1,000 robotic mower investment could have saved Rand Paul serious bodily injury. Forgive me, I digress.
I have met well-educated people who actually believe you can have your own truth. The danger of believing “perception is reality” and “you can have your own truth” is it can lead to irrational behavior. In some cases, it can get you killed. In other cases, it simply lands a person in a psych ward. I’m fairly sure most Muslim Extremists believe they are winning the war and their cause is favored by their God, just before they are vaporized by a Hellfire Missile. If those same Muslim Extremists had received proper psychological care they and their victims might still be alive today.
Maybe a better way to explain what is meant by “perception is reality” is to say: “Many people do not know the difference or are unable to distinguish between their strongly held opinions and reality”. That is a mouthful. Translated into southern speak it would read, “Thar just ain’t no fixin stewpid.” Another quip, but less popular, is “Ignorance is remedial but stupidity is forever.” That is a shortened version of a quote from Aristophanes from around 450 BC.
Since 450 BC it has become difficult for the average person to distinguish between opinion and reality. A primary cause of this is 24-hour news stations mixing news with commentary. Opinion journalism does not affect people educated in critical thinking as much as those who instinctively believe what they are told by various news outlets. Liberal education no rarely teaches critical thinking. Logic is not a mandatory subject in most high schools. The result is students who grow into adults that cannot handle ideas that oppose their opinions. I get emails all the time with outrageous claims related to President Trump.
Here are some objective truths.
- The stock market took off right after President Trump was elected. This resulted in an increase in wealth for all Americans with retirement accounts or investments.
- Unemployment continues to decline since President Trump took office.
- GDP is up in spite of several devastating hurricanes.
- Fewer illegal aliens are crossing our borders.
- Veterans can now get healthcare outside the VA system if the wait time is too long.
- President Trump fired 59 Tomahawk Missiles at a Syrian Air Base responsible for using chemical weapons on their civilian population. Russia was not pleased according to American and Russian news agencies.
- President Trump has taken a new stance on intolerance towards North Korean Nuclear Missile testing.
- The entire UN Security Council voted against North Korea under President Trump.
There are many more but I will stop there. Anything more than stating the facts is spin. Spin is the attempt to get you to see reality from a particular viewpoint, which is when things become subjective.
A person’s thoughts or feelings can be reality-based or they can be false and even delusional. Knowing the difference is important for peace of mind and mental stability. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, you may have experienced relatives holding various political views. The most notable and often talked about are the relatives who just cannot get over having President Trump in the Whitehouse.
Whatever your view about the President is, it is more likely to be emotionally based rather than fact or reality-based. My advice to the Left is the same advice I gave to the Right when President Obama was in charge. Examine your internal views to see if they are consistent with reality. When they are aligned you will be happier.
I leave you with this quote to ponder:
An objective truth and individual reason are feared above all. ~ Jimmy Johnson