Are things black, white or gray, or do our perceptions color them? You see something on a trail in the twilight and immediately think it to be a snake. It is only when you further investigate that you find it is only a harmless piece of rope.

You observe a person wearing outrageous clothing or with a terrifying visage and avoid them, all the while thinking your own judgmental thoughts. Something happens to get you into a conversation with them and you find them very gentle and well-educated. It was only by chance you engaged in a fascinating conversation with these individuals. How much richer you suddenly find your life!

We find our lives more meaningful and exciting when we do away with the continual habit of making judgments based on our first observation of a person or circumstance. More often than not our initial estimate of something turns out after further investigation to be wrong.

There is vital truth in the statement looks can be deceiving. I was once at a camp in the mountains on the northernmost island of Japan, Hokkaido. It was a sizzling hot summer day in the middle of July. The lake was crystal clear and you could see the bottom at a depth of over fifty feet. Talk about inviting.

I dived right in and then tried my best to walk on water. It was ice cold in the middle of a hot summer. Surprisingly enough, there were no ice cubes floating around in it. It also explained why, even though there were a lot of people on the lake in row boats, nobody was swimming in it.

Look at a small package and you think it light and easy to handle. Unbeknownst to you there is a lead ingot in it. You find you can hardly get it off the bench. Have a huge box and you prepare yourself for a great amount of weight. Should the box be full of feathers you are in for a surprise.

Our lives and the events we encounter are basically the same. Things are not always as they seem. By further investigating and observing everything in our lives we often find a totally different meaning to things. Some of the things we consider most depressing or embarrassing can be truly humorous when viewed from a different perspective.

How many times did we fall over when learning to ride a bicycle? Too many to count. We hardly ever fell over when someone was running behind us and holding us up. Then we looked back and found they had turned loose and we immediately hit the ground. We were doing just fine until we discovered they were no longer holding on to us. Our skills had not changed, our perception had.

The ways in which our minds work either for or against us are really remarkable.

Author's Bio: 

Copyright 2001 by Robert Taylor

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