Not just because of who or what we are looking at, but because of who we are as well.
Three lens interact to produce what we think we see:
The Objective Lens:
What some would call the tangible, visible, reality of a person, event, or thing. What we can see, feel, touch, taste, or smell and which has a certain core essence which different people might agree on.
Most people would perceive the same thing as we do.
Our Relationship Lens:
The viewpoint from which we see that person, event, or thing. We see our family differently from our friends, our friends differently than our societal peers, and strangers differently from those we know.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but we can see the same reality and interpret it differently based on how well we know the person.
Our Perceptive Lens:
We place a value on what we experience based on our background, culture, ethical stance, political and religious views, and whatever other beliefs we bring to the table.
What is a terrible tragedy to one person is another person’s salvation. Every game has losers and winners.
Usually all three of these lens are in action at the same time, but in varying strengths. The trick is always to know which lens you are favoring at a given time and how that may affect your thinking, feeling, and acting.
None of the lens are innately negative or problematic. We do that with our interpretations and thinking habits, which in turn affect our emotions and our behavior.
How can you tell which lens is affecting how you view a person, event, or thing?
How can you balance your lens to create a useful perception?
Wondering whether I’m being realistic, ethnocentric, or just plain prejudiced in the Heartland ….