What do you see?

It would seem that we, as a species, do have a distinct tendency to pre-judge people. I agree that many of us try not to as we realize the flaws, but it does seem to be an intuitive reaction and, to make matters worse, it is generally done from a superficial view of the other person.

If we saw an unkempt individual sitting on the sidewalk, we could draw a conclusion. If we saw an unshaven, long haired individual wearing ripped clothes, we could draw a conclusion. A lady in a micro-mini skirt and heavy make-up could easily be unfairly labelled.

In pretty much any example I can come up with, the circumstances and characters involved could be assumed to be one thing, when in fact there are numerous other explanations. Is the car that just passed me, by driving on the shoulder of the road, an irresponsible idiot or an emergency response of some sort?  Is the police car racing through the traffic with all the flashing lights on, but no siren, really on a discreet emergency call, or just running late for a meeting at the donut shop? Is the parent whose child is out of control, and annoying people, really in need of a lesson in child discipline, or is that parent totally distracted by some recent devastating news? Whatever conclusions we may immediately come to, there are many others which could just as easily explain what we are seeing.

When you look at this photo, what do you see?

2011 Aug 01

It is in fact a photo of me modelling a scarf for Melanie, my daughter. Now that you know that, what do you see in this next photo? Has your “story” behind the photo changed just a little?

2011 Aug 02

Melanie had asked for scarves so we wanted to get some feedback on the styles and colors that appealed to her. Based on the photo below, does your interpretation of the photo change any further?

2011 Aug 03

Needless to say, we had a lot of laughs doing this.

As some of you will know, Melanie is fighting a brain tumor and she had to have surgery which involved cutting a piece out of her skull. The radiation and chemotherapy treatment which followed caused considerable hair loss which exposed very clearly the scars from her surgery. Now look at this photo.

2011 Aug 07

It would seem quite logical to believe that your reaction to the very first photo, is rather different to your reaction to the above last photo. We must always keep this in mind whenever we see somebody who we immediately “label”.

Food for thought.

32 thoughts on “What do you see?

  1. Sorry to hear about your daughter’s health issue. Prayers and healing thoughts are digitally flowing her way. As for the scarfs, I personally love the bright pink/orange one ad the pale pink one plus and the batik print (blue/green) that I didn’t see you modeling.The spotted one, while lovely, won’t go with as many outfits. Just saying. ღ

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  2. Such great timing for me for this post!! Great post and you proved your point very well, so which scarf did Melanie choose 🙂 and yeah stick to the fishing hat. LOL! Prayers for her and all of you as always as she fights this!

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  3. I simply immediately thought: What a humorous guy you are! Later reading about Melanie’s story makes me agree with other commenters: she shall have all the scarfs! All the best for her and for all of you during these times!

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  4. I thought you were trying a camouflage trick on Ray! At dog class, we often “lose” our dogs – to make them look for you. We stand in a long row and dogs can walk within a metre of their owners – and not see them. It doesn’t work on LM the hunter, who always finds me instantly!
    I hope your daughter recovers well from her ordeal. And gets a few laughs from your antics! 🙂 Staying positive definitely helps.
    My brother had a brain tumour removed when he was 26. He is now 65.

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  5. My reaction is that you need to stick to fishing caps. You are not a scarf man but your message came through loud and clear. I didn’t know about your daughter and wish the best for her. (I like the colorful scarf myself!)

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  6. First of all, my prayers for your daughter and the strength you all need walk this difficult path. I know it’s not easy.
    You’re right about forming judgments simply by what we see and not what we know. I’ve learned on too many occasions the person we think we see is very different than the person we imagined him or her to be. It’s a great reminder to allow people an opportunity to show themselves for who they are and not who you think they may be.

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