If you had asked me at the start of the day to explain a particular situation, I would have conveyed a very detailed story with confidence. I would have recited specifics, given examples, and provided an exhaustive account. After working a full day to researching, analyzing, and documenting, and examining the evidence, while the framework of the story remains consistent, the details are quite different.
I wonder how much of what I have concluded is going on around me is based on my perceptions. Have I really listening to the conversations or merely proceeded with my opinions? Did I examine what is behind the news or blissfully (ignorantly) accept someone’s opinion? Am I willing to think critical, even when the answer seems obvious?
History is littered with individuals that have turned good opportunities away. Based on perceptions, when Good News arrived, one community became “alarmed, [so] they turned on Paul and Barnabas and forced them to leave.” (Acts 13.51) A wonderful opportunity was squandered. I wonder how often we are repeating this today.
You and I have an opportunity to take a different course. In every moment, we can embrace the following.
We can look at life reflectively. Our vision is more than what we see. It is the experience of what we see in context of our journey, values, and highest ideals.
We can be intentionally thoughtful. We can listen intently. We can be intentional with our choices and actions. We can choose to reflect and learn.
We can act with compassion, mercy, and love. These principles can transcend everything in our lives. No action is taken without letting compassion struggle to the surface. We can refuse to step until we walk with a heart of mercy. We can always be in love.
I know that our embrace of this approach will not eliminate the role perceptions play in our lives. They will help us open our souls up to Truth’s Spirit. As we are touched by truth, we will be changed. Be warned; in this transformation one will find that her/his vision is new.