PerceptionsPosted: November 18, 2009
Why am i writing about perceptions? Because i am thinking about how perceptions can change the way we experience something. We could talk about preconceived notions, or any other term we may like to use but the idea is that more often than not perceptions create a picture which we see from what is there in front of us and not necessarily the complete picture.
There was a mail doing the rounds some time back which was telling the story of a father and son being in a car crash and when taken to hospital, in the operating theatre, the doctor looked at the boy and said “this is my son”. How could that be? What i was told that more often than not women were able to find that the doctor was his mother but men were having problems trying to find the answer and that this is because of perceptions or preconceived notions that we might have.
Why am i writing about this, again? Because i am thinking about it. And why am i thinking about it? This came from facebook. I did an activity on facebook where you could select the 5 things you want to learn. One of the things i want to learn is Urdu. I have been fascinated with the language, with the beauty of spoken Urdu, the expressions that are part of the language, and the script (though i cant understand). What does this have to do with perceptions? Simply this. When you select an option as one of the 5, the system automatically attaches a picture to that option and when i selected Urdu the system picked the picture of the flag of Pakistan to go along with Urdu. And this is where the idea of perception comes in.
In popular perception, for example, Urdu is associated more with Pakistan than with India. Though Urdu developed as a language by the interaction of Persian with the Hindustani of what today is India. Of course, this is history and since India and Pakistan claim a common heritage (culturally, at least) this logic is not valid. But if we look at the numbers there are more Urdu speaking people in India than in Pakistan, and yet this perception remains.
This is only an example and not something i have much against, so please dont think i am railing about the association of the language with the country. That wasnt what i wanted to say. What i am saying though is that at a larger level, these perceptions stop us from seeing the complete picture. Perceptions guide us to see a particular part of a picture which is fitting with the perceptions and in the process we tend to be ignorant of the other parts of the picture. What are your thoughts about perceptions?