Ok, it’s been a rather hectic Friday for me so far…but I got to do this. It’s a promise made, and it’s worth the while!
Welcome to the maiden edition of THE AV’T CORNER where we share contemporary inspirational posts of AKPOVETA Valentine't, the KinetoLeadership™ Coach.
Today, I share a abridged version of series he titled:
#1. THIS IS MORE THAN THE DRESS
I woke up Friday midnight with a terrible headache, and couldn't go back to sleep, and so decided to use that time to catch up on some reading and outstanding work. It was then that something occurred to me. I immediately went online and visited the CNN channel on YouTube. By this time, headache forgotten, I was becoming excited.
It was possible for people to see the picture of the dress and see different colours. Perhaps, we could explain it away as a result of different devices.
But how do we explain when people look at the SAME PICTURE, through the SAME DEVICE, in roughly the SAME SPACE, at the SAME TIME and yet see completely DIFFERENT COLOURS?
Why do people fight? Why did the Charlie Hebdo Murders happen? Why is there war in Somalia? Why does Israel and Palestine bomb each other? Here in my country, Nigeria, why do GMBites and GEJites want to kill themselves over the elections?
Do you remember the last time you had a disagreement with someone? Perhaps a terrible fight? A bitter quarrel?
How all the parties involved were looking at the SAME ACTION/SET OF ACTIONS and yet had DIFFERENT VIEWS about it? And how their differences caused havoc?
At this point, any wise person must have come to realise that I am not concerned about the dress. What intrigues me here is the vast implication of the MULTIPLICITY and DIVERSITY of our OUTLOOKS, and how PERCEPTION [not REALITY] has contributed into shaping this world as we see it.
It was not #TheDress that started World War II. But it was the same multiplicity and diversity of outlook that made Hitler start a war that lasted 6 years and wiped out over 50 million people- the bloodiest conflict in the history of the world.
Now, do I have your attention?
#2. ‘YOUR FATHER IS A BASTARD!’
I watched to see the reaction of the person who had just been told that his father was a bastard. He was laughing! And he replied back, "Your mama y**sh!" And then they both laughed and hugged.
I do not have a friend who would dare to call my father a bastard. But if, for any reason, someone does, I do not think he would see me laughing. Or descending to his level, responding back, abusing his mother.
If I deign to give him a response, it will be a stern warning and a telling off.
But then, am I really angry at the 7-letter WORD, "BASTARD"? Not necessarily. If I was brought up to understand that the word "BASTARD" means "Great & Honourable Man", then I would smile proudly if someone called my father THE SAME 7-LETTER WORD- "BASTARD".
It is not the WORD. It is the PERCEPTION of the word.
I really am not angry at the word but because of what I have come to perceive the word to mean. That guy was not angry when his father was called a bastard. Most likely, his PERCEPTION of that word was something friends used to show fondness to friends.
PERCEPTION is STRONGER than REALITY.
That dress didn't trend because it was a beautiful dress. It didn't break the internet and get over 30 million views because Roman Originals made it.
If the user, Swiked, who posted the picture on Tumblr had gotten similar responses, we would never have had #TheDress. The dress didn't trend. It was the DIFFERENT PERCEPTIONS about the REALITY of the colour of that dress that trended.
If you are deep, you will begin to think about all the conflicts you have been in, or you have witnessed. How the inability of parties to merge perceptions in a forward-thinking way, created backward-causing actions.
PERCEPTION is STRONGER than REALITY.
Wise men understand this. Intelligent men use this. Thinking men profit from this.
#3. TRUST ME, YOU WILL FALL!
How can PERCEPTION be stronger than REALITY? How can something that you THINK be more potent than something that is REAL? Perhaps you mean to say that they have EQUAL powers?
No. I choose my words carefully. And I mean every word when I say, "PERCEPTION is STRONGER than REALITY".
Today, the earth is spherical. Yesterday, it was spherical. But it didn't just start being spherical. 200 years ago, it was spherical. 4000 years ago, it was spherical. That has always been the REALITY.
However, people THOUGHT that the earth was flat. And that if you ventured too far, you would fall off the edge. So they stayed in their safe zones. It was NOT REALITY that stopped them. It was PERCEPTION.
When you say you fall in love at first sight with someone you don't even know, and you begin to do crazy things, it is NOT REALITY that made you do all that. It is PERCEPTION. You are in love with an IDEA- an IDEA of who you THINK that person is.
If I asked you now, "Do you love Abingala Soup?" Would you say Yes or No?
If you are intelligent, you would say neither. You do not even know what Abingala Soup is! [I just created that name from my head]. How can you know whether you love it or not?!
Similarly, you do not even know who the person is! How can you say it is love at first sight?! My friend, you are in love with an IDEA. And that IDEA is POWERFUL enough to make you do funny things.
This world is ruled by perception, not reality. Ideas rule the world. I am sure you are seeing this in a whole new light now.
Men HAVE ideas. Great men PLANT ideas.
Politicians know this. Advertisers know this. War Generals know this. Propagandists know this. Leaders know this. Salesmen know this.
But wait a minute, aren't we all salesmen? How can you not know this?
#4. WHY YOUR OPINION IS DANGEROUS 1
In the morning after I had sent out the message about #TheDress, about five people sent messages calling it a distraction. But I am interested in only two of those responses.
One said, "This dress is obviously White and Gold. And I don't know why you joined in the distraction.” That evening, another person sent me a message. "The dress is blue and black. This is just a distraction."
From these two messages, can you clearly see what is evident?
On the surface, it seemed they agreed [that the whole dress issue was a distraction].
Yet, in the core of their seeming consensus lay the seed for discord.
To one, it was a "distraction" for anyone to make a fuss over the fact that the dress was blue/black because it was OBVIOUSLY white/gold. To the other it was a "distraction" for anyone to make a fuss over the fact that the dress was white/gold because it was OBVIOUSLY blue/black.
Both said the same thing- "Anything said to the contrary of what I believe is a distraction. It should be ignored." Yet both had different beliefs.
Do you see how fights begin? How conflict arises? And how wars are started? Do you see how you could have avoided the last bitter quarrel you had with your loved one? How your last relationship broke up? And how an innocent child in Congo suffers because of war brought about by diverse OPINIONS of foolish leaders?
“I have my opinion. Any opinion to the contrary is a ‘distraction’- a waste of time. I won't listen to it."
Two people can say this exact same statement above and yet cause catastrophe when they meet, not only because certain beliefs are in dissonance, but also because they do not make room for allowance of contrary beliefs.
Do you see it clearly now?
#5. WHY YOUR OPINION IS DANGEROUS 2
A few weeks ago, in a discussion with a friend, she made a statement I find funny.
Yet, as funny as I find this statement, it is the basis for some of the deadliest and bloodiest conflicts this world has seen.
She sent me a message, "I have a right to my opinion. Since you don't agree with my opinion, I won't agree with your opinion."
This statement, asides from the fact that it is dangerous, is also an obvious logical fallacy. If I agreed with your opinion, then there would be no need for you to agree with my opinion if it was contradictory because, in agreeing to yours, I would have jettisoned mine.
And so I sent a message to her, "You have a right to your opinion. But you do NOT have a right to your facts. Truth is sacred and is not subjective to your whims or opinions. And so, while I respect your right to hold your opinion, yet, to the extent of the inconsistency of your opinion with the TRUTH, with SOUND PRINCIPLES and with what is BEST FOR THE COMMON GOOD, I choose to reject it. I have more respect for the truth than your opinion."
I don't think she loved my response. But that was the truth- even if it was bitter.
If you come to me and tell me, "Val, you are a monkey." It is your opinion. And I respect your right to hold that opinion. However, where I will have a problem with you is when you try to force that opinion down the throats of others and feed it to them as truth.
But this is where conflict almost always begins. When people say they have a right to their opinions and then, without checking the validity of those opinions, try to force it down the throats of others.
Personally, I have very strong opinions. I have learnt, however, to accept that my opinions may not always be truth, and to adjust accordingly. And definitely not to force them down people's throats.
Shouldn't we all do that?
AKPOVETA, Valentine 't
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