Perception of the Present

July 31, 2019

Summertime, and the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high
Oh, your daddy's rich and your ma is good-lookin'
So hush, little baby, don't you cry


Great song lyrics, to a haunting song. Very few of us can say that first verse is true about us. 


In 1936 when Billy Holiday sang Summertime who was picking the cotton? It certainly was not the rich man, his wife or child. We tend to get lost in nostalgia and think the past was different than it was. Some Nero-scientists think that we when we get nostalgic Dopamine is released into our brains, which would certainly explain a rosy view of the past..


You might be saying  “So what's your Point? Why do you want to rain on my parade?”


I do not want you to change the way you view the past. I want you to think about the way the past helped form your perception of the present.


It just so happens my father was well to do, my mother was good looking and the living was easy for me as a child. Yet it did not make me a better person, in some ways it made me more backward than many people. By examining how my present perceptions were influenced by my past I hope I can become a better person now. I was raised with only one rule as a child, so maybe I wanted a career where there were lots of rules. I don't really think so!     


Again you might be thinking “What's your point?”


The past was a roller-coaster for many people and they formed so pretty radical perceptions that they carry into the present. My point is that if you find something that is not working for you now, examine where your perceptions came from to see if you want to modify them. Maybe by modifying certain perceptions formed the the past you can make your present more enjoyable.




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