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When we look at the world, we do so through the lenses of our past experiences. If twenty people look at the same course of events, each one will interpret it differently. This effect is why eye witness reports aren’t considered completely reliable. As we go through life, the lens through which we see the world is constantly changed.
Sometimes we wonder why it is that people don’t see things the way we do. We wonder why they don’t hear things the way we do. The simple answer is that no one else has had our specific experiences, so they don’t experience things the same way that we do. Everything that happens to us over the course of our lives changes how we see the world around us. How we interpret what others say and do is affected by what’s happened to us and who we are in the moment.
Think of it this way:
Person A and person B are sitting on a bench. Person C walks by and says “Hey there. Gorgeous day, isn’t it?” Person A smiles and gives a pleasant reply. They’re glad that C was so kind and friendly. Person B scowls and gets angry. They think C is condescending and inconsiderate. How could they think such different things? Well, if A has had a good life or even a good day, they interpret the words in one way. B has either had a bad life or bad day, and they interpret the words in a different way. Both A and B will think their interpretation is the right one, but in all honesty, only C knows what they really meant. C can’t control how A or B perceives what they say.
Sometimes we really need to think about how our experiences change how we see and interact with the world around us. You may think you’re seeing the truth of things, but you may be seeing from a skewed viewpoint based on the events of your past. It’s important that we learn to discern the ways in which our pasts affect how we look at things. Whether we want to admit it or not, we may be seeing the world in a way that completely isn’t reality. It can become a serious problem if you’re letting the events of your past alter how you see current reality.