“Perception is what you interpret – it is your understanding of a given situation, person, or object. It is the meaning you assign to any given stimulus. Perspective is your point of view –it’s the lens you see the world through and determines how you view yourself, others, and everything else around you.”
To each their perception
A couple of years ago, I took my daughter on her ritualistic trip to her braid-making hairdresser. She was then about eight years old. When we reached a newly-constructed, gleaming, 4-storey pre-school crèche, I smiled and turned to her and said, “Baby Girl, isn’t that school beautiful?” “It’s beautiful, mommy”, she replied. Then with a contented grin on my face that created two artificial dimples in my cheeks, I proclaimed, “Oh, it’s a shame you are too old to attend here. I would have brought you to this school”. Before I could take my eyes off the steering wheel to catch a glimpse of the signs of elation I expected to see in her eyes, she screamed, “Ahhh, mommy!”. Surprised, I turned and asked her why. Then I had a shocker of a reply. She said, “Mommy, it is a school for autistic children. They won’t take me.” For the life of me, I couldn’t imagine where she got such wild thoughts from so I pressed on, “Baby, what do you know about the school? You don’t even know anyone who goes to school there so how do you know it’s a special school?” She replied confidently, “Oh, mommy, but you should know. Look at the pictures on the wall.” Once I looked at the pictures on the wall, I felt tongue-tied. Even the famous cartoon characters we all know had assumed different identities on the wall!
As I had been driving past the school on countless occasions, my attention had always been focused on the elegant and imposing physical structure and installed playgrounds.