Perceptions

Perceptions

I’m trying to make sense of the world we live in.  All of a sudden, FACTS are not necessarily FACTS.  TRUTH is not TRUTH.  There are “alternative facts.”  How a person perceives a situation is now just as valid as the actual occurrence described by a person.  During the US Elections, I heard reporters tell candidates that the crime rate was actually the lowest in 20 years, and the candidates responded, “But people feel differently and that’s how they’re voting.”
I realize as I write this that I too have perceptions.  Ten times a day, someone posts something to Facebook or Twitter and I have to decide my opinion.  They may post about something I am familiar with and thereby have something to add to the conversation,  or they may post about child trafficking, substance abuse or security for Ivanka Trump – things I have no earthly idea about - I didn’t study them, I have not experienced them and I have no opinion about them.  
But there it sits, that row of emojis just waiting for me to choose my perception. To weigh in.  To have an opinion.
How do these things affect others in the long run?  If I’m one of 15,000 likes for chocolate ice cream being better intrinsically than vanilla, then those chocolate ice cream makers may use my voice to prove to the world they are right and vanilla is evil.  What if vanilla isn’t evil and really I just barely like chocolate better?  

This has come home to roost lately as I was told that there is a perception about me in certain social circles.  A perception.  That means people have looked at me, or at my actions, and judged that they are either good or bad.  Someone - at least one person along with others agreeing - has seen me and made a judgement.  These people, for the most part, do not know me.  They have not spoken to me; however they have a judgement about me.
What do you do with a situation like this?  There is no accuser.  There is no accused sin or wrongdoing….just a perception that something is askew.
If it were a friend who came to me and said, “Sister, you have sinned.  This thing is wrong,” then I could answer with my motivation or my reasons behind an action, and perhaps then the friend would understand or we would agree that this is wrong and I should change.
But when the accuser is a ghost and the perception is a feeling, not really based on specifics, to fight it is to box with a cloud.  There is no point of contact and there is no winner.
Is this a new era when gossip rules?  Your thoughts?
Alice Looking (at herself) Through the Looking Glass
 

 
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