Posts tagged perception
15 Minutes
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On my first visit to New York city I overheard the following exchange between a mother and daughter in Times Square. Mother: I’ll meet you back here in 15 minutes.

Daughter: OK.

Mother: That’s my 15 minutes not your 15 minutes.

Daughter: OK

Mother: Because your 15 minutes is never 15 minutes.

Daughter: Ok

Mother: My 15 minutes is actually 15 minutes and when I say I’ll will be back here in 15 minutes that means I want to meet you here in 15 minutes, not in 20 minutes or half an hour or 16 minutes. It means 15 minutes.

Daughter: ok

Einstein was correct and particularly in this case when he said time was relative.

I have an ongoing battle with my own daughter over the perception of time. It turns out we all have our own perception of time. Even though we may agree on some basics e.g. there are 24 hours in a day, we can’t agree on what the passing of time feels like. As I observe my daughter’s morning routine it’s clear to me that her sense of being on time is completely different to mine. I’ve struggled for a number of years to help her change, to guide her to conform to the contemporary concept of punctuality, but to no avail. Now I find it's me that is required to change. There are reasons her lateness distresses me. The main one being that getting her to school is part of my routine and responsibility. When she is late, then I am late. Like dominoes all set to fall, her being late sets off a chain reaction that pushes on through my day. For her it stops the moment I stop complaining.

Rather than beating my head against this repeatedly I've decided to take a step back. I no longer want to deal with her in the morning. She’s old enough to take responsibility and I don’t need to helicopter around continually pointing to the clock with ever increasing alarm as the time for departure comes and is inevitably passed. So I no longer take her to school. Occasionally I make amusing remarks about how quickly time is passing as I get myself and my son ready but we leave before her. She gets a lift with my mother, walks or catches the bus.

There are people in the world that operate on their own time. For me I feel being on time is important, probably something I learned as a child from my grandfather that has stuck with me. I don’t like having my time wasted, that’s fair enough. But it’s also sometimes better to remove yourself from a situation when the only other solution is changing another human being against their nature. Who am I to say my concept of being on time is more correct than my daughter’s lack of interest in the very concept?

Time is relative in many more ways than we think.

Evan Shapiro www.amazon.com/author/evanshapiro

This blog is edited and used with permission of the author. Originally posted @ www.evanshapiro.net/blog

Rose tinted reality
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‘Looking at the world through rose colored glasses’ is an expression that has fascinated me since I was a child. I had a baby sitter who actually had rose colored glasses and said she preferred to see the world through them than the harsh reality she saw without them. She let me try them on once and I found it amusing to flick them up and down, comparing my reality to her rose tinted version. The phrase implies a world view that is ignorant to the truth, but could it be seen another way? There isn’t anything inherently wrong with wanting to see things better or perhaps just differently to the way you naturally perceive things. Putting a rose tint on everything isn’t any different from filtering all you perceive through your own mind and body. ‘You’ are what you have to perceive the world. Your mind and body are essentially your mechanisms for perception. Your world view and your self view completely influence how you see things. So, consciously adding a tint is quite possibly more aware than simply going through life taking in information and not recognising how you are altering information as it comes in.

In science this is called the ‘observer effect’, that by the act of observation, the observer actually changes what is being witnessed. If we have low self-esteem, poor self awareness then pretty much everything you think and do will be altered by that ‘reality’.

There have been times in my life where I have felt embarrassed to say what I think, too shy or concerned about what other people might think about my opinion. To people who know me now this must seem ridiculous. Yet I’m aware of how these patterns can corrupt my experience of the world. Over time, through self examination, I have learned to be accepting of myself and this has unlocked a degree of confidence. But I know people who are consumed by what they perceive as their failings. If perhaps they realised they could remove that filter and choose a different way to look at things who knows how their observations of life might change the world before them.

Evan Shapiro www.amazon.com/author/evanshapiro

This blog is edited and used with permission of the author. Originally posted @ https://noexpertbut.wordpress.com