Perception: Don’t jump to conclusions

Perception is a funny thing.

Take the day I walked into my living room and gasped at the sight of my carpet, for example. A bright white splotch glowed from the floor which sent me into a bit of a tizzy.

“No, no, no!” I yelled , though no one was home to hear. “There’s a reason we don’t use bleach!” (Mostly, my long and sorted past of ruining things with the stuff.)

I rushed to the kitchen, wetted a rag, and hurried back to the living room in the hope I could erase the glaring spot. I mentally cursed the kids, wondering who had spilled the bleach that I knew no amount of elbow grease could fade. Still, I worked at the stain, while simultaneously calculating the cost of replacing the rug.

Finally, realizing there was no way to remove the mark, I rose and considered my options. I thought perhaps I could move a piece of furniture to cover the blotch, but of course it was right in the middle of the carpet. I thought of flipping the rug over, but was sure the bleach had soaked through.

I sighed, then started hauling off the furniture so I could roll the carpet up. I would have to throw it away.

But then, a strange thing happened. The stain…moved.

I stood very still. Perhaps I was dreaming. I thought about that for a moment and decided I was awake. I blinked and lowered myself onto the edge of a chair. Then, after some careful contemplation, the reality of the situation struck. I bent down and held my hand over the blotch and there it was. Why I hadn’t seen it earlier I cannot say.

The “stain” was nothing more than a ray of sunshine gleaming past my backyard trees, through my bay window, and onto the carpet. I suppose I should have realized sooner, but I have a tendency to jump to conclusions.

My sunshine stain made me considered why we humans are so quick to view things a certain way, often without thought. That this was not the first time I was absolutely sure of myself only to discover I was completely wrong made me consider how the world might be a better place if we all stopped and thought, before blindly stumbling into false conclusions.

It’s said that perception is all about using our senses—sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing—to make sense of the world around us. But our perceptions are also affected by our preconceived notions, which in my sunshine-stain case might have been prompted by my lifelong inability to get along with bleach.

The point is that people can look at the same situation and come to different conclusions. However, if we step back and thoughtfully consider what we’re looking at, perhaps we can avoid getting it wrong.

That said, I like my Irish cousin’s take on perception. “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” ― William Butler Yeats

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Published by Liaison – A Next Chapter Imprint

Rebecca Quinn escapes her controlling husband and, with nowhere else to go, hops the red-eye to Arizona. There, Gaby Strand – her aunt’s college roommate – gives her shelter at the Salt River Inn, a 1930’s guesthouse located in the wildly beautiful Tonto National Forest.

Becca struggles with post-traumatic stress, but is enthralled by the splendor and fragility of the Sonoran Desert. The once aspiring artist meets Noah Tanner, a cattle rancher and beekeeper, Oscar Billingsley, a retired psychiatrist and avid birder, and a blacksmith named Walt. Thanks to her new friends and a small band of wild horses, Becca adjusts to life in the desert and rekindles her love of art.

Then, Becca’s husband tracks her down, forcing her to summon all her strength. But can she finally stop running away?

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8 thoughts on “Perception: Don’t jump to conclusions

  1. vonniehughes says:

    Where we live on the Gold Coast of Australia, the sun is almost a permanent thing and believe me, I’ve done the same thing, Anne. Stared hard and rubbed at a patch of sunlight sifting at angles through the floor to ceiling glass doors. It still catches me on occasions thereby proving I am a person who rarely learns from their mistakes.


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