Perception vs. reality


“Everything you see or hear or experience in any way at all is specific to you. You create a universe by perceiving it, so everything in the universe you perceive is specific to you.” – Douglas Adams

Some people truly believe perception is not at all reality. However, I beg to differ. As the writer Douglas Adams said in the abovementioned quote, things we interact with become specific to us. Now if one would think the things I interact with and the things I express to not be their reality, then they probably would be right on point. But to say one’s own perception isn’t his or her own reality just isn’t valid.

If I interact daily with 10 people, and these are the only 10 people whom I study, whom I teach and whom I interact with they become my reality. If all 10 don’t know who Dr. Martin Luther, Jr. is, my perception will be that nobody knows who Dr. King is. If I see and hear the people around me truly don’t know who Dr. King is then my reality will be that no one knows who Dr. King is.

If you did the same, but those 10 people know about Dr. King, then your perception and reality would be that everybody knows Dr. King.

The perception and the reality comes from seeing, hearing and experiencing a phenomena so that it becomes specific to you.

On a grand scale, to say the world doesn’t know Dr. King would be void, but in my perception – the community or area I’m in – there is a lack of knowledge about the deceased moral leader of the free world.

As community leaders, whether we believe perception is not reality or if we do, our job is to mend the two. When perception is reality the rumors and the false statements become drowned out as the truth prevails. Take a look at Ascension Parish as a whole. Now look at Gonzales, Donaldsonville, and Sorrento individually. Each community looks at the others differently. Is it merely their perception of each other, or is it the reality?

The reality is this is a diverse parish. The perception is this is a diverse parish. With both, there is a separation and not just because of geography, but because the perception has been there thus forcing it to be the reality.

What can we do to change the perception of the people in Donaldsonville who believe the people in Gonzales get more opportunities than those in Donaldsonville? What can we do to change the perception of the people of Gonzales believing Donaldsonville is a bad place to live? Can we, at all, change those perceptions, or are they just reality – the way it is and will be? Like I said before I beg to differ. The perception is the reality – which means they can be changed. I can always change my view, but I can never change you. And that’s perception versus reality.