Sunday, December 04, 2011


I've had two experiences lately that have pointed out how perceptions can vary tremendously.

I was speaking with a highly educated person recently and in the course of the conversation I mentioned an article in Scientific American Mind I had read about the topic we were discussing. The look on his face was obvious shock. I gathered he thought I was not someone who would be reading anything more thoughtful than a supermarket tabloid. There was no malice about the interaction, just surprise on his part.

A few weeks earlier, I was speaking with someone about HCC, and with disdain they said, "those college students," as if being in college was an awful thing. It was clear they thought seeking higher education was a waste of time. The sneer said "those college students" could use a little come uppance because they thought they were better than this person who had no college education. Of course, no interaction had occurred that would logically lead to that assessment, but this woman assumed they would look down on her.

So, someone with a Ph.D. is surprised we can have intelligent conversation because I have less education than he does. And someone who didn't seek college feels antagonistic toward people doing so.

I'm not sure I would have noted either of these things if they hadn't happened in close proximity to each other. And I'm not sure what it means except that perceptions are odd. We're all being affected by them every day and may not even recognize they exist - in others or ourselves. Much to think about.

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