Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

changing perceptions

 Do we project what we perceive ourselves to be, or do we strive to become what others tell us we should be ? It is difficult, if not impossible, to be completely objective when looking in the mirror. It is equally so when doing a self examination of our motives. These thoughts enter the conversation often when I am talking with myself. Have I spent the majority of my effort trying to fulfill an image created by others, in a different time and place ? That is to say, trying to be what I was told I should be, rather than just being myself. Well now, that would require some serious discussion wouldn't it ? I do believe we are a product of our environment so that much has to be true. It is those standards of moral and ethical conduct that we are taught, as virtuous, when we are children that form the core of our character. Outwardly we may reject those values and declare ourselves " enlightened " but I don't believe one can do so deep down in their soul. Yes you may gain the arrogance to publicly oppose those values but will that erase them from your thinking ? I think not. Perhaps that is why people choose to abuse alcohol and drugs. Perhaps that is why a percentage of the population choose deviant lifestyles. Are those actions an act of defiance ? Could be they are used to cover up whatever conscious thoughts we have and blur those lucid moments of realization ? I'm talking about those times when we know we are wrong but fail to acknowledge that. I don't mean wrong about one thing or making a bad choice, I mean wrong in our philosophy.
 Are we obligated to fulfill the expectations of others. Especially those of the ones who love us ? For me I believe that is part of the contract. Yes, I should attempt to fulfill their expectations. In the big picture the world is not about me. I am only a small piece in a big puzzle. Sure I'll be missed if not present but the picture is still recognizable. I will complete the picture by my presence or lack of it. I am here, at the present time, to fulfill a purpose. The determination of that purpose is what we all seek the answer to. The answer has to be different for each of us. That means we each have an individual function but should function as a unit. The unit is mankind. Included in that is the definition of those basic moral and ethical values that we are instructed in as children. They really are universal in nature. It is only the society in which we are raised that modifies those parameters. It is the society that tells us what we should be. Our lot is cast at birth. Whatever society you are born into defines you. When we separate ourselves from that society, becoming distinct, we are either applauded or jeered. Does that separation occur by choice or circumstance ? The answer is both.
 When we choose to separate ourselves from that society is that a rejection of that society ? Does it stem from knowledge or arrogance ? Or does it occur because you feel you can not meet the expectations of that society ? Now circumstances can influence the decision and those circumstances may arise from that society. That is where the situation gets complicated.  Do you carry your society with you and attempt to implement its' values upon those in a different society ? It is a forgone conclusion that those values will be rejected. The rejection will come not so much from the basis of those values but from the fact that they are perceived as different. That manifests itself in many ways, manner of speech, mode of dress and philosophical ideals. You might call it culture. Each society does posses a separate cultural aspect. It is in that, that we attempt to define ourselves. Do we adapt to the society in which we are living, or do we strive to hold onto the culture of our youth ? How successful we are in achieving either forms the perception we have of ourselves.
 So the question is this, what is it that others perceive about me ? Do they see the same thing as I do ? Of course not, how can they. They do not think my thoughts. Just what do they see ? The bigger question is still one I have no answer for. Am I trying to be what I want to be, or what I want others to see ? Am I unconsciously trying to fulfill an unspoken expectation from my youth ? An expectation from a society that no longer exists ? Society, every society, changes over time. It is those changes that we " seniors " often lament. Each of us live in a micro-society, made even smaller by youth. In youth we are subject to the society our parents wished us to know. For many of us we grow up, adapt to the society in which we find ourselves, and continue on our way. When we leave that society, " the society of youth," we are excited for the new and different, excited by the choices before us. There comes a time however when we begin to reflect. We reflect upon our choices and look to that society for answers. The problem is that society only exists in our own thoughts. Even those that shared that society with us have a different perception of just what that society was. Some will glorify it as a utopia and others will dismiss it entirely. I find myself somewhere in the middle. Where did I fit in that society ? Now, having reached the age of " maturity " would I fit into that same society ? Have I fulfilled the expectation ? Just whose expectations am I required to fill ? The selfish answer is my own and is not the correct one. I believe that I must satisfy the expectations of the one that created me. I'll be around until that is accomplished. In the examination of my motives that should be the primary consideration. Perception is what we believe to be true. Faith begins with perception. Perception leads to belief. You must believe in yourself is the current mantra. Could be what others perceive you to be is the true reflection. You can't argue with the truth. All you can do is change the perception.