ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Perspective is at Least Ninety-Nine Percent of Our Reality

Updated on June 7, 2010

Our reality is shaped by how we see it.

Perception begins from within all of us.
Perception begins from within all of us.
The ups and downs of gas prices in our country is a great example of how our perceptions are shaped.
The ups and downs of gas prices in our country is a great example of how our perceptions are shaped.
Our perceptions are as unique as we are. That is the reason why conflict is often inevitable.
Our perceptions are as unique as we are. That is the reason why conflict is often inevitable.

In Ann Rule’s, Everything She Ever Wanted, her main character, Pat Allanson defines perspective as being paramount in terms of getting people to do what you want. Pat Allanson, who was an expert manipulator used people’s perceptions of reality to her advantage, and for a while managed to play everyone like a well played violin. She even managed to get away with murder. When Pat Allanson was interviewed by the authorities, she credits perception as being the key to her cunning strategies. What is perception? How does it affect all of us?

Alexandre Dumas was noted for quoting the following on perception: ‘There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state to another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life.’ Perception varies from one person to another. Here’s a quote by Dom Helder Camara that shows how public opinion shapes our perception: ‘When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.” The following quote by Anais Nin truly defines the meaning of perception as being subjective rather than objective. “We don't see things as they are. We see them as we are.”

Reality and perception are two very different things. Although, people can only understand reality through their own perception of it. That unfortunately, is why communication is often hindered, and disagreement is the inevitable consequence of how reality is often perceived, and communicated from one person to another. Our experiences, present circumstances, personal beliefs, external influences, and even our moods are major contributors to our perception reality. Since this is true for everyone, it makes for a very complicated world.

Our perspective shapes the way we react to events. A great example of how perception works is gasoline prices. Back in the seventies it was considered an outrage when gasoline prices hit the one dollar mark. People were in shock. Then the eighties went by and people got used to the one dollar mark. Over the nineties gas even went up to the one dollar and half mark and people got used to OPEC's ups and down. Then came the new millennium and in the year 2004 gas hit a new record high of two dollars. People again where in a state of shock. Over next few years gas went up to almost three dollars. People got used to the ups and downs as they had in previous years. Suddenly in 2008, due to the up and downs in the stock market, gas prices started to escalate rapidly, almost weekly. People started to get really scared. Then suddenly in the fall of 2008 the stock market plummeted and gas prices fell dramatically, they hit a low of one dollar and thirty-something by the beginning of 2009. We are now in 2010 and gas prices are starting to creep up to the three dollar mark, yet people are remarkably calmer than in 2008. Why is this? Perception, that is why. We have been conditioned to accept what was once considered intolerable by most Americans back at the beginning of the millennium.

We are a lot more accepting of what was deemed unfair in the not so recent past. This could account for the loss in quality in the lives of many. We have been conditioned to accept unfairness as a normal part of life. By saying this, I’m not implying that life is fair or for us to start living in a dream world. Life is unfair more often than not. What I am saying is that if we keep accepting the declining quality of our lives as fair, where are we headed? As Americans we need to start looking around, and not let complacency take its toll. Most changes in history that have benefited mankind greatly came at a great cost. People, who changed history were not complacent, they were the movers and the shakers who made things happen. Are we still a nation of movers and shakers or are we just sheep?

I would like to leave you with this thought. What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly. The quote on perception by Lao-tzu, shows that even though, we may have entered into an era of hopelessness, there is still hope. We can hope on a new beginning, and become the butterfly. Therefore we must choose to be proactive if we want change for the better. As Johann Kaspar Lavater once quoted: There are three classes of men; the retrograde, the stationary and the progressive. Which type are you depends on your perception of yourself . Perception in a very real way, it shapes our reality.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR

      Internetwriter62 

      6 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Hi James-raterman,

      Thanks for your comments. As to the gas prices I agree the are based on facts not opinions. What I am referring to in my hub is about the emotions expressed in relation to the price changes. I was about eleven or twelve back in the early seventies when they started to go up and I noticed a much stronger reaction on an emotional level than I do at the present time, even though the gas is much higher and the jump in price is much higher. I see that people have gotten use to these highs and lows and that effects the perception of many.

    • profile image

      james-raterman 

      6 years ago

      What? How we perceive gas price changes over the decades proves neither of your points. Your talking about feelings or opinions on on a derivation. There is a very real reason for gas prices and why the way they are. Whether anyone is able to understand the complexity of it is another story. So instead we give our own opinion or feeling to the situation. Perception is automatic and without thought it is a way of rationalizing the world so it makes sense, the fluctuation of gas prices do not make sense for most people. It is not quantifiable, as humans beings we try to quantify it. And once we do then we come up with an opinion or feeling about it.

    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR

      Internetwriter62 

      8 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      I do agree. People may have a valid point or they may be wrong, but giving people the benefit of a doubt is a valuable tool for avoiding conflict. Even though it's painful to admit, bigger problems do produce growth. Very true, thanks Benny, you have a lot of experience with lives ups and downs.

    • BennyTheWriter profile image

      BennyTheWriter 

      8 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      Yes...I know what you mean when you say you reach out more and argue less. Life is suddenly a bit more peaceful when we realize we don't actually know it all. Maybe the person we're upset at has a valid point; perhaps they're right. Or they're acting stupid at the moment because something's deeply bothering them. Who knows? I'm learning to give people (within reason, that is) the benefit of the doubt.

      And that peace extends to personal endeavors and everyday life as well. Little annoyances fade into the background and bigger problems, though stressful, become full of opportunity for personal growth and empathizing with others.

    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR

      Internetwriter62 

      8 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Thanks Benny, I really appreciate your encouragement. Since I started to see things more in terms of perception it has helped me to reach out more and argue less, because I realize that what I see is not exactly all there is.

      That is very true a change in perception is the first step in realizing our goals and wildest dreams. I wish everyone thought that way, we would have many less depressed people.

    • BennyTheWriter profile image

      BennyTheWriter 

      8 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

      Great, great hub. It's actually empowering to know that perception makes up a huge chunk (if not all...) of our reality. Simply by changing the way we think about things, how we see ourselves, other people, and the world at large, we can go from being moody, depressed and pessimistic to hopeful, happy and satisfied. That knowledge gives one (me, at least) the incentive and the energy to fulfill one's goals and wildest dreams.

      The quotations by Anais Nin and Lao Tzu really stood out to me. I can and do choose to be, in Lavater's terms, a "progressive."

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)