“The Recalibration of Perception”: Thank-you Ram Das!!!!....Thank-you Konrad Lorenz!!!!
“The Recalibration of Perception”:
Thank-you Ram Das!!!!....Thank-you Konrad Lorenz!!!!
L.T. Force, Ph.D., Gerontologist
These are interesting times - for all of us. Times where the: "predictable" and "standards of interpersonal exchange” - are altered. During this last week, a number of events have occurred that provide testimony to this belief.
Early in the week, I had a conversation with an extended family member. I love her dearly - however, it is no secret we look at the world differently. In our discussion - the topic of: “perception” came up. We were exchanging examples of how we both perceive the world - and it was clear - we see things differently. It is not - one person is right - and the other person is wrong - it is just clear - our interpretation of the situation or behavior is “different”. It was interesting this conversation came up - because I knew I was going to write about the theme of “perceptions” - but this discussion with my family member - just solidified my direction.
In addition to this discussion - other events occurred during the week - conversations and emails with other friends, colleagues and family members also gave me pause to think: “ What the hell was that about? ” followed by:“ What the hell were they thinking?” and again: "What was that about?" And I realize in all of these cases - I am trying to understand - “why the person is saying that or writing that or acting like that? What’s behind their motivation, intent or feelings?” And then it hit me - these are different times - and everything is different - including the way we interact with each other and how we interpret each other's behavior.
When the first wave of the COVID-quarantine was on the horizon - I had a conversation with a friend “Ram Das” (Justin Logan). Justin is a man who lives the life-path that he speaks about. Justin is a Master in the Healing Arts and practices and teaches the discipline of "Kundalini Yoga". To see Justin (Ram Das) in action - is to witness an individual with the skill-set of an Olympic athlete. When I was talking with Justin about: “my perception” of how the COVID- quarantine would be restrictive in nature - and all of the things we would lose access to - he stopped me and said: “that wasn’t his perception.... but rather the quarantine would provide an opportunity for individuals to have - in a sense - a rebirth. Whereby, the withdrawal from typical.... normal behaviors and interactions would afford individuals the opportunity for a: “new discovery of self”. What a gift....a great and powerful and positive interpretation or reinterpretation of events! My next thought was:
“ I wish I had that gift.”
You see, I know me - better than anybody else knows me. I know, like all of us: "we have many gifts - but the gift of the: “reinterpretation of events” - that is a skill-set I need to work on". For me, I almost feel like the goslings in the Konrad Lorenz experiment on “Imprinting”. Lorenz completed a study in 1935 - where he was able to demonstrate that baby geese at birth - would follow - the first moving object they saw. The object - whether it be the Mother Goose or Lorenz himself - would be the object that the goslings would follow - they would never let go of the impression - the impression was “imprinted” - and that is how I feel at times in my interpreting the behavior and actions of others: “imprinted on first impressions”. And this is a skill-set I need to work on. Especially in light of what I know!
I know, as I tell my students, “People do the damnedest things” - for many of my students - as they begin to study Psychology - they are presented with written or lecture material from others - that places an emphasis on the fact: “Psychology is a science, behavior is predictable and behavior can be measured” Yes, that may be a good scientific definition - based upon observing behavior in a laboratory setting - but now I stand in front of them and tell them - from years of Practice Experience - coupled with an understanding of theory and research: “the most predictable thing about human behavior - is that it is unpredictable....people do the damnedest things”. I need to remember that point - in my interactions with people - in my interpretation of their words, actions and behaviors. I also need to remember that as I am trying to understand the nature or underlying reason as to: "why people do the things they do" - I need to remember the influence and impact of the current world we are now living in. What was once normal and familiar exchanges and mannerisms have now been overshadowed by the “lens of the screen” where as a result of quarantine and isolation - with the inordinate amount of time we are spending on Zoom Calls and Virtual calls - we are engaging with the world virtually - it definitely influences the way we act and think and interpret behaviors....and it definitely increases all of our: "stress thresholds!"
In summary, Thank-you Konrad Lorenz!....Thank-you Ram Das! .... for helping me to understand the “concrete imprinting of first impressions" and the beauty, power and strength found in the: “Recalibration of Perceptions”. Now that I acknowledge these points: "Here I come world!....let me see if I can put this understanding into action. Here I come family!....here I come friends!....here I come colleagues!....Let’s see how this goes. Wish me well - as I attempt to: "Recalibrate My Perceptions!"
Stay tuned..... and Oh yes, by the way....it's now your turn to: "Recalibrate Your Perceptions"....it's part of the "human growth condition".... and needed now - more than ever....