Things Are Not Always As They Seem
Carol says that things are not always as they seem as she recounts a story about hunting, bruises and a possibly abusive relationship!
Perception Involves Observations
Perception involves our observations, the use of our senses about what is around us and we draw conclusions based on what we see. It is part of how we try and make sense of the world around us and how we interact with the people we come in contact with.
The Cambridge dictionary defines perception as “a thought, belief, or opinion often held by people and based on appearance.”
When we don’t know or take time to investigate the entire story and base our beliefs thoughts on appearance alone, our perceptions may miss the mark of reality. Our views, based only on our perceptions – our senses, can be off base. Have we ever looked at someone and thought they had it all together. I know I have and then discover they struggle in areas we do not see? Maybe we look at someone and think they are lazy because they are not at work, only to find out they are on disability because of a serious illness that does not manifest itself visibly?
Things Are not Always As They Seem
Appearance can be deceiving. Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” I think that men who love God, follow him and praise him should also be commended.
Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” Perceptions can make us think we are right even when we haven’t got all the facts.
Body language helps to discern a bit more than just a casual glance can. Listening to the words that go with the appearance and body language gives a more rounded version of who that person is, as long as they are honest.
Perceptions and the Beliefs We Hold
Part of the puzzle pieces of our lives includes all our senses and the perceptions, the opinions, the beliefs we hold, and that we show to others. How often do we let others into our lives and give them an opportunity to really get to know us? How often do we take the time to get to know others and not just form an opinion based on appearance?
Sometimes the results of our perceptions can turn out to be humorous but at other times deflating to another person, harmful, and hurtful. I’ll share a story from my own experience o that humorous side of misperception that might bring a chuckle or two when you think about how things aren’t always as they seem.
A Hunting Plan
A lot of years ago my husband and I planned to go hunting with another couple. My mom graciously offered to look after our children and I looked forward to this time away. We had a bit of time until we needed to meet our friends and leave for the southern part of our province to hunt and visit other with a family we knew a little bit. We took the time to head out to the gravel pit to do some target practice since I was using a different rifle with a scope instead of open sights.
Snows had come early on the prairies. This November day was chilly, white, and quiet out in the country. The sun shone off the bright, white snow as I aimed at the target. I braced my arms on the hood of the car to steady them and fired. Down went my head as the scope kicked back into my forehead, just above my eye. I grabbed my mittened hand and applied pressure while my husband rushed over to take a look.
A Hospital Trip
I took my hand away but he told me to put it back and keep the pressure on while we drove to the hospital for stitches before leaving on our trip. The nurse took a look and told me to put my hand back up. The doctor came in and gave the same instructions until he could stitch it up. After half a dozen stitches, a head x-ray, and some bandages we left to meet our friends. My doctor shook his head at me for wanting to continue with the trip. By all appearances and his medical judgement, the only place I should go was home – to rest.
I must admit the headache was ferocious but I still enjoyed the visit on the four hour plus drive as well as the evening with people we rarely saw even though I needed to be quiet and listen. The next morning we headed out to hunt. My head felt a bit better but not much. By the evening I had black eyes to go along with the stitches.
A Restaurant Visit
On our way home a couple days later, I felt much better. It no longer hurt to keep my eyes open, laugh with our friends, or talk. We chose to stop for an early evening meal at a small town restaurant a couple hours from home. We had pulled off our orange suits but had grubby, winter jackets underneath. I no longer needed a bandage but my face looked a mess with two black eyes and big, black stitches along my eyebrow. The waitress led us to our seats and kept looking at me and then glared at my husband and back again. Other people noticed us and stared as we walked by.
An Abusive Relationship?
By the time we arrived at our table the waitress gave a few more pointed glances at my husband while she placed menus in front of us. When she left, we looked at each other and dissolved into laughter when we realized she must be contemplating rescuing me from an abusive relationship.
I am glad she paid careful attention to patrons and served them well with kindness and compassion. She often hovered close to our table and after listening to our laughter and conversation realized that not everything was as it seemed.
Perceptions Based on Appearances
Relying only on our perceptions based on appearances, without finding out all the facts is like looking at some of my favourite photos. They are great reminders of places I have visited but they are only replicas and not the actual place. They can never take the place of seeing those scenes in reality.
Let’s base our beliefs on facts not thoughts or perceptions as we think of the words of Colossians 2:8 which says, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”
Sometimes things aren’t always as they seem. People around need our kindness, compassion, and time to get to know them and help them. When have perceptions led you into thinking one thing and finding out it wasn’t what it seemed?
Listen to Carol’s program Puzzle Pieces Of Life.
Carol Harrison B.Ed is a speaker and published author with one book, Amee’s Story and stories in twelve anthologies. She is passionate about helping people of all ages and ability levels find their voice and reach their fullest potential.
She knows, through personal experience that some of life’s experiences are tougher than others. She encourages people that even in the twists and turns of life God’s amazing grace provides hope. She lives in Saskatoon, SK with her husband Brian. They have four adult children and a dozen grandchildren.
Visit Carol’s website carolscorner.ca
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