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December 28, 2005 / TildeWill

Be What You Want to See

I was watching Star Trek: Enterprise the other night and in the episode, one of the male crew members gets impregnated with an alien life form. As he’s walking to dinner he feels that everyone is looking at him and whispering about his awkward situation behind his back. It occurred to me that this man was paranoid, and I wondered why. Given the character, the reason he suspects everyone would be talking about him (aside from the hormonal imbalance) is that he’d probably be talking about someone else behind their back.

The conclusion I then drew after contrasting his reaction with what mine would be, is that a person perceives in others what he sees in himself. So since I make an effort to not gossip, I rarely assume that others would be gossiping about me. Taking a liberal brush to this idea, I’m then led to conclude as a general rule, a person is inclined to see his own characteristics in others and bases assumptions off of his own character traits.

More importantly is the implication this has if one wanted to change his perceptions. Instead of sitting there squinting really hard and telling one’s self that the people around him weren’t evil, all he would need to do is stop being evil himself.

Conclusion: Change yourself and you change the world around you.

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