Perception is everything. One of the most beautiful things about working with people is the diversity each and every one brings to the table. The stories of their youth that influenced their view of the world. The way they either connected to or never connected to their parents or siblings. How they see themselves and what brings a sense of value to their existence. Each person has such a multitude of interwoven varying experiences that present themselves in their one of a kind unique personality. I’ve had the opportunity to work with people from nearly every walk of life and have come to love so many individuals for the very uniqueness that often is the part of them they most desire to replace. Being different isn’t easy and more often than not comes with a factorable level of pain, the more out of the norm ones uniqueness is.
It has always given me great joy to help people to embrace their “youness.” I know, it is not a word and perhaps that is why it is so relevant. How we look at things is what makes us unique and believe it or not the very people who have a serious reaction to a made up word or inability to connect to the purpose of art or empathy appeal to my heart often times more so than those who get it.
It is easier to love or appreciate someone with whom we share similar beliefs. It is a psychological phenomena that we connect with faces that are similar to ours. Those who fit into our version of normal will always be easier to accept and embrace. All of this is easy, effortless, as simple as breathing. It is when we encounter something or someone that is contradictory to our opinion, beliefs, values, or norm that our breath becomes shallow or strained. We feel our face turn to that plastic appearance we use at the card table in a vain attempt to conceal our hand. Muscles become rigid and maybe our heart begins to palpitate.
These reactions are normal and natural phenomena that occur as a result of a primitive system of defense. Now don’t get me wrong, this system still provides humans the protection they need today, when caught in an actual threat situation, but not everything is a threat. This system is only effective as a tool when paired with rational thought.
Today, more than ever in history our words and actions have instant impact. Never has it been more important to save the fear for the real threats. Think beyond the knee jerk reaction to something that is different from what you know. We can continue to sculpt our perceptions through new experiences and choose how we respond to the world around us rather than operate out of fear. Be brave don’t let fear define your reactions, challenge your perception, grow it into what you want to share with the people you love and have chosen to love or those you call friend. Grow and choose what you will. Choose.