The Reality of Perception

Posted Sep 21, 2010

There are some who believe that our perception of things dictate the reality of our world. It is most often in the profession of politics and sales that these ideas are held in such high esteem. After all, If you can convince the masses that your product is the best on the market, then your sales will likely reflect that belief. And if you have to lie, and alter facts to make people believe, then so be it.

American politics are based on convincing the public to vote for you, regardless of how much you truly have their best interests at heart. (Some may argue, based on how most political campaigns are run, that the goal is not to have them vote for you, but to vote against your opponent.)

However, they fail to understand that reality is, regardless of the quality of our perception. And worse, they don't realize that the less accurate their perception matches reality, the more danger they are in.

There have been cases were a product was found to be dangerous. Ill-designed, flawed, poisonous, whatever. Those less-honorable businessmen ignore these facts and campaign to push the product onto the market anyway. Or if already on the market when this issue is found, decide to ignore/deny it.

Their insistence that the product is safe endangers their customers, who are given an incorrect perception of the product. No matter how much they promote, campaign and advertise that their product is safe, realty will disagree. And reality will be right.

The same is true for politicians. Lying about the what back-room deals they participate in. Lying about what illegal (or only legal by skirting some minor loophole) I've seen too many politicians that make elaborate promises during their campaign, but as soon as they are elected and hold office, they go back on their word, often doing the exact opposite of what they promised.

The voters were given a particular perception of that politician. And in return, they find laws passed they never wanted.

And yet, the immoral businessman and politician also have incorrect perceptions of reality.

The businessman believes that they can get away with the fraud with no ill effects on their business. However, word spreads and eventually customers learn not to trust that business. They leave. They take their money elsewhere.

The dishonest business either runs from one scheme to the next, or finds themselves in jail. Only the honest businessman, who accepts the reality of the quality of their products, and adjusts as needed can succeed in the long run.

The dishonest politician may be able to run their racket for a while, but in the end, they also lose.

Let's look at some other real life examples of poor perception:

A deer that fails to notice the alligator while it's drinking from a stream risks losing its life.

While driving, you see a pebble kicked up from the car in front of you. It's heading right toward you, and in fear of getting hurt, you flinch. The fact that you failed to perceive the windshield in front of you protecting you doesn't change anything. Whether you realized it was there or not, doesn't change the fact of its existence. You simply failed to see something that was right there in front of you.

All this is simply a slightly different way of saying what I said in this article about truth. Hopefully either that article or this (preferably both) will open some eyes.

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