I am reading Wives and Daughters for my new book club and I was struck today by the way the author presents certain characters. Some of the people in the book, and in many other books, just don't get it. It's like they live in this alternate world, that doesn't intersect the real world. I often see or interact with other people and I wonder (sooo judgingly) if they realize that they are functioning with a false sense of what is real and what matters. Reality (punny I know) tv shows for example. Do the people on those shows really behave that way in real life? I sure hope not. I imagine that a great deal of their drama and angst comes from knowing they are being taped and that in real life they would not be so terribly unpleasant or idiotic. Of course that leads into why we as a society have this clearly rampant desire to voyeuristicly observe other people acting like they are not acting while they clearly are? What does that say about the Human race? Where does this deep need for drama and excitement come from? Why are we so incapable of being content with where we are and what we have. Just to be clear I am not judging here, I am more than guilty of books and movies enjoyed simply to remove myself from my reality for a time. I just wonder . . .
So in dissecting the thought of how another person's perception of the world is in fact their reality, does that mean that they are not living in the real world, or that I am not? I feel that I see things much more clearly than they do, so does that mean that I understand what is real and what matters? or am I deluding myself with thoughts of my own grandeur? I think that observing life from a gospel perspective is the only way to judge. I know the gospel to be true. I know Christ was/is perfect. So if I can try to see the world through His eyes, that seems like the best possible way to determine what is reality. Of course, once I master that I will be able to stop judging people and considering myself "more real" than they are and then this whole concept of my perception vs. their perception is rather moot since it would simply become the perception of the Perfected one, which is universal and omnipotent.
Obviously (to me at least) my concerns about perception should be focused not on who is right, but on how I can help. Naturally my next thought leads me to think about how I perceive myself in an attempt to share the gospel and then begin to consider how another person might perceive my attempt to share, which could very well seem to them like I don't live in the real world, but really that is just my perception of what their perception might be based on only my own life experiences, which is not their experiences and since I have yet to discover that elusive mind reading ability, I will never truly be able to know how another person receives what I share.
It's a conundrum.
My right answer: don't worry about what other people think. Do what I know is right. Ask questions when I do not understand. Pray for guidance.
Someday I'll figure it all out.