Perception is when the objective world is sensed by our senses and then filtered through our previous experiences, our temperament and our beliefs. Of course that leads to 6 billion different and unique world views since none of us are exactly the same. Sometimes I think the world has forgotten this very elementary truth. Instead, so many people let their prejudice dictate their behavior, judging everyone that is different than them without realizing that them themselves are different than everyone else. Why do people insist on dividing the world in us and them when really we are a bunch of Is living in 6 billion different realities while sharing the same world?
When we experience a negative emotion, such as prejudice, we must take a moment and examine that emotion with a magnifying glass. What triggered the initial emotional response? Then we must weigh our perception up against the objective reality. Are we acting upon a past experience or a fear rather than what is right in front of us? Is the negative emotion a defensive response against something we have assessed as being a threat based on past experiences or what we have been told by others?
Examining an emotion in full honesty, calmly, respectfully and openmindedly, in ourselves and in others, is a way of saying: “we are all human beings, experiencing negative emotions is not bad, it’s just a part of life, of being human, but I am not the emotion and I choose not to act upon it.”
Choosing to use our intellect to learn from our emotional responses instead of suppressing them is a more mature way of dealing with negative emotions and it will make us more compassionate and not so quick to judge others.