Each one of us lives in our own unique world of perception. As individuals, we may experience life in an entirely different way through our senses and life experiences. Therefore, perception can be tricky since it is very personal to each one of us. According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, perception has three meanings; (1) “the way you think about or understand someone or something,” (2) “the ability to understand or notice something easily,” and, (3) “the way that you notice or understand something using one of your senses” (2014, para. 1). C.S. Lewis said, “What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are” (n.d., para. 11). In other words, a person’s life experiences heavily influence who they are and what they perceive.
In his essay, Blindness (as cited in Lopate, 1995), Jorge Luis Borges discusses his blindness, which was inherited from his grandmother and father. He was born with the ability to see, but slowly lost his eyesight over the course of his lifetime. He said “Being blind has many advantages. I owe to the darkness some gifts: the gift of Anglo-Saxon, my limited knowledge of Icelandic, the joy of so many lines of poetry, of so many poems, and of having written another book, entitled, with a certain falsehood, with a certain arrogance, In Praise of Darkness” (p. 381). While many people would likely consider blindness to be a disability and place them at a disadvantage, Borges’ felt that his blindness opened the door to many other opportunities for growth. What Borges experienced in his past through his love of literature, along with having the ability to see for several years, likely shaped his perspective, giv...
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.... A house that is a mile away is thought of as nearby, but requiring the taking of a lot of steps...The elevator that whizzes him and down give no more sense of vertical distance than does the train of horizontal” (Lopate, 1995, pp. 700-701). This example illustrates how the blind rely on their other senses to establish their perspective. They have no understanding of shape, size, distance, and sometimes even color. When they become cured of their blindness, they must learn how to see. Many of these people embrace their new found vision, but there are others who would prefer to remain in their world of blindness.
In conclusion, our perception is not only molded by our life experiences and our senses, but also what we understand from those experiences and senses. We depend on our senses to show us what is going on so that we can understand the world around us.
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