The Lemonade Stand is where we meet to share from our hearts, inspire each other to enjoy the simple pleasures in life, and gather as a community to celebrate the bright side of life.
Today, our Lemonade Stand is brought to you by Miss Brenda!
Can you remember a time when you talked with a friend, a parent or your child about a past event and they remember it slightly differently or maybe significantly differently than you do? And in that moment you are confused because you remember it so vividly. How could they possibly not remember the same thing?
We see the world based on our perceptions – those thoughts that register internally as a result of our external environment. You see, there is unbiased Reality and then there is your unique perception of this reality based on your filtering system.
We see the world through our individual filtering system which is made up of our memories, beliefs, values, knowledge and basically all things we are familiar with. Our senses gather some 11 million bits of information per second from the environment but the human brain can only store between five and nine pieces of information in short term memory so we then delete, distort and generalize based on our filtering system. Our perceptions of right or wrong, and good & bad are also based on our memories, beliefs and values, and this includes the societal judgments, rules and values in the area and/or country we are raised.
I was vacationing in San Salvador a few years ago. San Salvador is the capital of the country of El Salvador and has a population of over 2 million people. We were in a taxi headed towards a beach community and needed to take the on-ramp onto the main freeway to get out of the city. Upon entering the on-ramp our driver suddenly pulled over to the side of the road. My friends and I were wondering what was going on and then we see this truck coming up the on-ramp going the wrong direction. Once he passed, our driver got back on the ramp and continued on to the freeway. Our driver’s perception of the situation was that it was no big deal. There was no yelling, no anger, just acceptance and courtesy. In the United States the perception would have been much different. Someone would have called the police, others would be yelling or angry, and many would have made judgments saying “that guy is crazy”, “he must be doing drugs”. In the US this situation would be an event. In San Salvador it isn’t even a second thought.
The purpose of this article is to remind you that we all see the world differently and are operating with completely unique memories, beliefs and values. If you notice that someone is acting in a way that does not make sense to you, just remember that they are using their unique filtering system and try to have empathy and compassion instead of judgment.