Perceptions and Individuality

Process of perception, approach and framework ...
Process of perception, approach and framework of perception (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When people dislike something in someone else they try to find validation for it.  It is the only way to justify our own value and improve ourselves is to understand our dislikes. Often our dislikes in others are traits we found selfish within ourselves.  These may be not actually be real though. Sometimes our perceptions pervert what is real.  Zen philosophy values recognizing what is real versus perception.

An example would be a man with long hair.  To a hippie from the sixties this might symbolize freedom and strength. However to a military man who was raised in a military home this would be seen as lazy, unkempt, dirty, cowardly, and undisciplined. The fact remains that no one but the man really knows what the heck his long hair is about.  In fact he may be creative, disciplined, intelligent and strong, but perception solely belongs to those that perceive.

We feel safe when we blend in.  We feel safe because people are always looking to test what is different.  The nail that sticks up the most gets pounded the hardest.  When we see individuals break barriers and do things out of the norm we become very curious.  Those that ride boldly know the consequence of sticking out in the crowd.
English: Time perception by a form
English: Time perception by a form (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where I live in California we have many hundreds of cultures all together. Meeting and becoming friends with others meets challenges you will not get in an older place with built in customs and traditions the entire community understands. One example is the word Church. If your a native in a small town in Kansas and hear a man goes to church, it is a positive thing.  The implication is that this is a man accepted and trusted by the community as a whole because there are very few churches with different values. The similarity in values among the various congregations are alike and everyone is aware of them.  A man who goes to church might be trusted more or held in a higher regard socially.  In California when someone says they go to church, it often draws a blank.  Here we have mosque, synagogues, chapels, retreats, cults, churches, and temples. There is no way to know which church one is referring to without asking them specifically. In fact you will be more likely seen as a simple man with narrow belief structure and may not find the support in your community you would have elsewhere. Where this would be assumed in one place to mean something, in another it may not mean anything at all.

Another example would be when I moved from Kansas to California.  I had recently graduated from Wichita State University. As I wandered silicon valley with my resume in hand, I realized that the name of the college was really unknown language to Californians. I graduated from Wichita State University which is well known in the midwest, however interviewers would ask. "Which? it what state? What state is that?" While I was in Kansas this degree had some pull. In California, my employers had to Google my college just to make sure they didn't know of a new state called Wichita.

If you don't like what you see.. change your perspective.. photography 101.