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We’ve all misjudged people and situations in life. We all believe some things to be certain ways and other things to be other ways. We even refuse to believe in things we do not want to hear. There are even such things as being blinded by love, for example when a girl falls madly in love with a boy who is not really interested in her but who is just playing games with her. She does not see the real truth. She does not see it because she does not want to believe it. We mentally shut doors to things that may hurt us and open them to those that bring us joy. Many do not want to face the truth because they are afraid of the consequences the truth may bring. Because of this, we make judgments that could be biased, or even false judgments. We witness situations and yet, we may have understood things incorrectly. We can even misinterpret what people tell us. The question is why?
One reason is perception. Everyone has different perceptions on everything. There’s literal perception, according to height for example. Let’s say, for example, that there is a shelf with three levels on it. A small person will only be able to see what is on the lower level and practically nothing of the higher level. Someone who is of average height will be able to see the middle level, a little of the lower level, and a little of the higher level. A person who is tall will be able to see the higher level, a little of the middle level, and practically nothing of the lower level. They all perceive the shelf differently. My mother would compare this to the acquiring of knowledge.
Someone who is just a child (and is small) would only see things at a lower level – the simplicities of life. As the person grows up, he or she begins to see things from a different level (or perspective) realizing that there is more to add to the simple things of life. Finally, as an adult, he or she can see everything and from far away. He or she can see the complexities of life, everything that there is to see. It is the same thing with a wall. When you are small, you cannot see anything but the sky. As you grow, you begin to see what is over the other side little by little and finally when you are fully grown, you can see everything. You learn simple things when you are young, and as you get older and start experiencing the many things that life has to offer, you acquire more knowledge.
Another reason is interpretation, which sort of adds on to what was said about perception. We perceive things differently based on our own individual experiences. Certain actions may mean something whereas those actions may mean something different to someone else. For example, for one person, two people holding hands means that they are good friends. Another person may perceive that as meaning they are lovers. Sure, the common theme in holding hands is the showing of affection. However, there are individual definitions that are formulated that show the different extremes of the definition. There is also literature that can be interpreted differently. That is why some people may have certain favourite characters in one novel that another person may despise. It is all a matter of what we believe in.
We read what is on the page with our eyes, but we interpret these characters differently based on our past experiences. Also, when we hear people whispering to each other in the corridor… different ideas may run through different minds. Some people may get the wrong impression and may completely misunderstand the subject of the conversation or their actions. The reason why they interpret these kind of situations like that may be because of their relationship with the people whispering to each other. Someone who despises them may think they are talking about horrible things, others who are indifferent may think they are talking about nonsense and those who know them well may think they are talking about things that they would normally talk about (depending on their personalities, what they are interested in, etc…).
A third reason may be illusion. We all desire things so much that we think we see them, so we are blinded to all possibilities. An example would be the desert. It is hot and dry, extremely bright, and barely any greenery (maybe a few cactuses here and there). The desert is so vast and great. To travel the desert, it seems like an eternity. Because of the heat that is dreadful, and the sun that scorches the skin that is exposed, you die of thirst. An image of an oasis appears and you think that it is there right in front of you, maybe a kilometer at the most away. And then, when you reach it, it has disappeared. The desire to see water and greenery overtakes your mind and is to such an extreme that we think we see it literally in front of us. It is almost the same thing with hearing. Some people desire to hear only certain things and block out the rest that seem to be uninteresting for them.
I think that the reason we make mistakes is because of decisions that we make voluntarily, and yet subconsciously, without realizing the consequences they can bring. We make them based on passed experiences but also because we take our eyes and ears for granted. We do not use them for the right purposes. Our eyes are the for us to see the fine details that are before us and to witness things the way they are supposed to be, but unfortunately we only witness those that seem important to us. Some people are very observant, because they see everything from the inside out.
It is also the same thing with hearing. Some people have selective hearing – they only hear things that they want to hear. Yet, we are given these ears to use them to their full potential, to hear everything around us and to learn from what we hear. I think that if we use our eyes and ears wisely, we would make fewer mistakes. If we saw all the sides of situations, if we heard all the sides of the arguments, stories, etc…, we would make wiser decisions and there would be less errors made in life.