Do You See What I See?

May 3, 2017

Not long ago while talking with someone I’ve known for literally all of her 54 years, she mentioned that she and her husband had watched a movie the night before and she wondered if I’d seen it. I said I had. From there, she went on to describe the visceral reaction she’d had to the plot and especially to the main character. She continued for several minutes and while she and I both understood the film’s story, our levels of emotional investment in it were vastly different.

I acknowledged the selfishness and irresponsibility of the character’s life choices, saw the consequences of her actions, and felt both sadness and sympathy for her (as well as for those who’d been impacted by her past behavior). I liked that before the credits ran, there’d been some healing and viewers were left feeling that imperfection doesn’t have to equate to lifelong unhappiness. I like too that they didn’t give it some sappy Hallmark ending; things weren’t sprinkled with glitter and tied with a pretty bow. Instead I was left to believe there was a roll of ribbon nearby and the folks involved would likely tie it into a messy but attractive enough bow that might ravel a bit at the edges but would hold the package together well enough. And really, the film had no lasting impact one way or another for me. It was one of those seen and quickly forgotten.

My friend acknowledged the selfishness and irresponsibility of the character’s life choices, saw the consequences of her actions, and felt a deep, seething anger toward her. She hated the idea of even partial redemption and was downright pissed when the credits ran. She wanted this woman stomped and bleeding, left to suffer a lonely and painful end. When I pointed out that such an outcome would also require the other chartacters to be left with gaping wounds, she got testy and ended the conversation.

The difference between our take-away on the film? Core beliefs. Mine are different from hers, so our interpretation of this film (and life in general, really) weren’t at all the same. We watched the exact same scenes, heard the exact same dialogue, and both intellectually understood the story. Yet were we to recap the movie, we’d definitely tell very different tales, both believing we were speaking only truth as seen through the lens of our core beliefs. Ain’t that life?

Earlier today, a bunch of folks posted links to this piece that addresses how our core beliefs impact the way we feel about what we see and even how they influence whether or we accept something as true—even when presented with solid evidence of its validity. It’s interesting and worth a read. Be sure to stick with it to the end. I suppose I should add that if you’re especially sensitive to profanity, you might not want to clickety-click, but they’re just words and in my opinion, there are worse ones, like “okra” and “kale chips.”

Warmly,

Beth

 

 

 

~*~ Today’s image courtesy of pexels ~ Free and fabulous. ~*~

 

10 Comments

  1. Reply

    Deb

    Do core beliefs and perception correlate?
    I seem lately to find that my core beliefs change as I age because I have learned that the flow of life does not stay the same so neither can my beliefs. And my perception, which differs a great deal from others is better left invoiced if I’m not ready for debate or opposition. Definitely life lessons for me.

    1. Reply

      Beth

      My core beliefs have changed through the years, too, and I expect they will continue to do so as I continue to live, learn, and grow. I’m grateful for not being so rigid as to refuse to expand my circle of acceptance and understanding.

      Like you, my perceptions are not always the popular ones. And also like you, I have no desire to engage in pissing matches so I’m inclined to leave some things unsaid, except for with those who are likely to both listen and contribute to a conversation, not just the latter.

  2. Reply

    Malcolm R. Campbell

    I belong to the “you create your own reality” club. In your movie, I would probably see the characters orchestrating all the bad and good that happened, and so I would have hope that they could choose or stumble upon more good in the future.

    1. Reply

      Beth

      I’m from that same camp. And I did see the characters in just that way–even those who might be seen as victims of the main character’s choices created, in my view, their own paths. They were the main character’s grown children and their hurts came initially from their childhoods, but their own mindsets and choices of who and how they were to be were of their own creation. From about midpoint (from my recollection) in the story, you could see everyone choosing to create better realities for themselves and I think that’s the very point that ticked off my friend to such a degree. That personal responsibility could take them to heaven or hell made her nuts, where I see that very thing as the most freeing truth.

      1. Reply

        Malcolm R. Campbell

        Some people, I think, see personal responsibility in such large matters as being impossible to control, so they’re more comfortable with the idea that the Creator makes all these decisions. Having that responsibility seems more of an empowering thing to me.

        1. Reply

          Beth

          I agree completely.

  3. Reply

    Taina

    I read Deb’s comment, as well as your reply. I so agree! As life has gone by, my perception ebbs and flows with time. Although my belief still stand strong with God as my center…I have found that life is so huge! Who is to say what belief system is right or wrong? What if we ALL have a piece of this HUGE jigsaw puzzle called life? What if we’re all correct in one way or another? We will only find out (I truly hope), when we arrive at our next journey to the new phase of life! What a wonderful kaleidoscope of beings we are!

    1. Reply

      Beth

      I love your notion that everyone possesses “a piece of this HUGE jigsaw puzzle called life” and your openness to the idea that we don’t know what we don’t know. You’re all sorts of wonderful, Tai, but I know you already know how I feel about you!

      PS: Thanks for leaving your thoughts here. 🙂

  4. Reply

    Trish

    It makes sense that not everyone will have the same reaction, and feeling when reading, or watching the same thing. We all have different experiences, personalities and journeys that have driven us to where we are today. I like having things in common with my friends, but I really love the differences. Through our differences we gain more experience, knowledge, and understanding.
    I’m glad we can still be friends even though I like kale.

    1. Reply

      Beth

      I like baby kale in salads and smoothies, but kale chips? Sounds like a punishment. As long as you don’t expect me to eat it, though, I respect your decision to put that vile shit into your body. I’m a steadfastly live and let live kind of girl. 😉

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