Cognitive dissonance (i)

I say x is y, you believe y is z and we keep-on going.

This is at least part of the explanation for why Rtump has won and why we argue; why we fail to see eye to eye and why, what to me is obvious is as clear as mud to you.

We all interpret reality, the world around us along certain lines. No two are alike (yes, Mr Trocchi), and the further apart our variance, the more likely we are to disagree.

When I see a rose, you probably see a rose too; the colours, shades and shapes of the petals might be at variance, but usually, no matter how disparate our experiences, we can agree it is a rose, or, at least, a flower.

What lies behind the rose however is dependent on many times the number of possibilities – some see blood, others pain; some love, others hate – some will smell the flower and return to an earlier time, others will consider the climate or the soil.

It isn’t so much the shape but the meaning. It is the meaning behind the object that causes us problems.

When I see an old man, who has fallen or for whatever reason arrived at our A&E, I see someone who is as often as not confused or fearful. I see someone who is vulnerable, seeking support.

When others see that same old man or woman, lying on a stretcher, oxygen or intravenous drip attached to their face or arm, they see a problem, a failure of the system; and, others again look at the same individual and see an inability to cope, to maintain their social homeostasis (acopia);

No one vision is right or correct; no interpretation of reality is perfect – our experiences are made-up of different moments, shades, angles of approach. We need to realise that there is no definitive interpretation, only varieties of good, bad or indifferent.

Yet, I can’t help myself. I see the world through the lens that I have nurtured since I was young. The perception that when someone asks for help, they need it; they haven’t volunteered to be vulnerable, they haven’t chosen their path; and I, I haven’t selected where I am – the fortune that has befallen me has arrived, like someone who falls, who finds themselves the subject of process and investigation.

And this is what I would ask – that we do not jump into judging, that we maintain an outlook that considers all the possibilities, that hangs-on to the multitudes before us.

Prior to judging, let us all pause and reflect on our position, let us plan and grow.

libro-cain

 

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