Saturday, September 11, 2010

Perceptions can be a tricky beast

Do you ever wonder at what point you form an opinion about something?  It's funny how perceptions get formed.  Have you had an impression about something before you ever saw it - based on a perception or assumption  - maybe even misinformation - about what or how {it} should look?

Now - there is a phrase I learned soon after meeting Duncan: "Your perception is your reality" - meaning, even if other people don't think you should feel a certain way about something, it does not make it wrong for you to feel that way.   Your perception is your reality.  If someone hurts you, it does no good for them to say: "That shouldn't have hurt" or "That's silly to feel that way" - this is not to say you don't need to step back and think about why you responded a certain way... it just means that the way you perceive something is going to affect your view.

As we were winding down our East Coast vacation, I realized I had a perception about something.  Probably formed at some point in my early education years - it's not a huge deal, but it was interesting to me because it changed how I looked for an item of interest. 

We spent some time wandering around Plimoth Plantation -

 Taking in all the sites and sounds of an historic replica of the original settlement.  Everyone was in character and interacted with the visitors quite a bit.  The kids got to see how they cooked meals and trained animals.  We were all interested to see the clothing they wore.

We all had a great time.  We went back to our car and drove the 3 miles to view the Mayflower II and Plymouth Rock.  As we were driving along, I had the map so we could view where Plymouth Rock was and find parking nearby. 

I could see on the map that it was before the Mayflower replica, so as we began to see the Mayflower in the distance, I wondered how I was missing Plymouth Rock.  I often miss things the first time around, so I didn't mention it to Duncan - not wanting to embarrass myself.  We parked and ate lunch in the park overlooking the Mayflower. 

I began mulling over the fact that I still hadn't seen Plymouth Rock.  Then I realized I had a perception and an expectation that Plymouth Rock would look like one of the other large rocks I have seen:

Haystack Rock - Cannon Beach, OR

After we ate lunch, we put the cooler back in the car and Duncan led us over to Plymouth Rock -

I was quite surprised to find that it was really rather small...

I am not sure at what point my perception was formed of a larger rock in Plymouth.  I guess because it was always talked about, I figured it was a large item - like the Statue of Liberty or Haystack Rock - and not just a small but symbolic thing.

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