Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The power of perception- by Georgina Popescu

This is an important moment in the history of this blog- I am publishing the first guest editorial, it is written by Gina- my very best e-friend and collaborator and colleague at the Info Kappa newsletter. She has arrived there at issue no 113 and up to the end (issue 437, each issue marking one week) she has written more than two dozens of excellent editorials; I had the privilege to be the very first reader of her enchanting writings. I am convinced she has a great future as an author in literature. Gina is very successful in her professional life too, she is now working at a big and respected Austrian bank- in Vienna. Thank you, Gina!

Dear Peter,

I have been thinking about the power of perception today on my walk
home from work.

Two years ago I bought a ring from a Christmas market in Vienna. It
had a special design and a nice stone. It was the creation of a young
artist, born in Ireland and currently living in Austria. I liked it
from the very beginning. Since then, it always made me feel more
beautiful just by wearing it.

This December I went again to the same market, I looked again at the
creations of the same artist. New beautiful shapes, but again… I felt
a strange attraction to the same shape that captured me two years ago.
I bought another ring, just with a different stone. This time the
artist also told me what it symbolizes. I believe he said “nothing is

The information passed very close to my ears but (shame on me!) did
not exactly reach the memory function inside my head, but more likely
the perception function. I showed my new ring to a friend after a
couple of minutes and told her that is symbolizes something nice, like
‘everything is all right’ or ‘nothing is wrong’ or similar and it was
interesting how it always made me feel so well just wearing it.

Tonight I was thinking how non-similar the two sentences are in fact.

Let’s take the end of a bad day (no matter why). I go home. The
husband (or boyfriend) sees me upset, asks me “what is the matter?” I
tell him (or maybe not).

Scenario no. 1: at a certain point he tries to comfort me, by saying
“don’t worry honey, everything is all right!”, then gently explains me
why, with basic arguments like “I am here, together we will overcome
this”… I go nuts! “How can you say everything is all right when I just
told you that something is NOT right???” (Or maybe I did not tell but
it doesn’t matter, as it is obvious anyhow…). Well, most women are
genetically programmed not to trust a man who says “everything is all
right”. So, I feel even worse, misunderstood or like a small
insignificant part of a big bad world, just because my “not right”
feeling is not perceived as such, in the greater universe of my
significant half.

Scenario no. 2: The same guy comes to me and says: “honey, don’t worry
– nothing is wrong!”, then gently explains me why the “wrong” is only
in my perception of the facts. If we look at it together, it either
has a solution (well, most men are genetically programmed to give
solutions!) or we find a nice example why this could be categorized
better than plain “wrong”. Maybe I go nuts and feel worse again, but
my feeling is that the probability is lower under this second

Well, at least this was the feeling tonight, while I was walking home.
Writing about it makes it look irrational and strange. The immediate
reaction to those phrases could go both ways. This is because I tried
to describe the feeling, to place it into a context and so on. The
scenarios are fictional and came to my mind after starting to write,
for the purpose of exemplification. I could very well depict a parent
hugging his / her little kid that got lost for a couple of minutes in
a super market. Probably most people’s first reaction in this
situation would lean towards “everything is all right”. Basic
communication rules encourage use of positive phrase rather than
negative ones.

Still, tonight, I found myself thinking about what lies between
“everything is all right” and “nothing is wrong”, without any context
or real life situation, except my ring. And my simple conclusion was:
between these apparently similar phrases I could fit my whole
perception of life. My happiness, my optimism, my enthusiasm, my
altruism, but also my sadness, my fears, my longings, my anger and
mood swings - everything.

I usually believe that nothing is wrong, but at the same time I never
believe that everything is all right. And of course this… is neither
wrong, nor all right!


Georgina Popescu


  1. ntz ntz ntz ntz :) conviction is worst enemy of truth :))

    sometimes we dont fight our own perceptions but the others convictions.

    when one's mind is opened 360 its very easy to see them and even if they have too strong beliefs or believe in nothing but are willing to, then you may try to help them either via words or even through silence.

    there are people that have an infinit understanding power of mankinds attitude towards life and other of their own kind. yet accepting them has nothing to do with accepting their behaviour.

    i may agree with your output on perception as a mass problem approach. wrong perception may lead to wrong actions,decissions and viceversa, that if you dont get lucky. BUT everybody lives with perceptions, some feel happy, some are sad, therefore I disagree that our state of heart is dependent on our perceptions.

    with all have been said, if the conclusion sits between the lines ... i may call it the weakness of perception (but as an article point of view, not as a belief)

    the bell :*

  2. congratulations gina for the first editorial and for peter for the new blog !

    i think each of us lives between “everything is all right” and “nothing is wrong”, but we don’t realize that.

    kindly ... ,

  3. Keep up the good work, Gina! Don't get lazy :-) I will follow with ease your posts now on blogger.

  4. "BUT everybody lives with perceptions, some feel happy, some are sad, therefore I disagree that our state of heart is dependent on our perceptions."
    Dear anonymous, I don't know what to understand from your message, as long as you contradict yourself in the same phrase...
    About the subject brought to my attention by Gina the other day, I can only say that most of us has already reached to the conclusion that perception is everything, therefore its power is immense. There should be no problem with that, as long as the perception fits reality, somehow... as it was your case with the ring. If you are curious enough to google on this, you may find some interesting things about communication, the message we try to send actually reaches the "public" in a percent as low as 10%, the rest of 90% is perception, the recipient's perception about what we are saying... what we are doing... the perception is biased by our knowledge, by your looks, by your moves, the tone of voice, by the receipient's state of mind, feelings... and the list may continue.
    This is why i think that when you want to say or do someting (anything) you should not take into account how others may perceive your words/actions, because that differs from one person to another. The only thig that really counts is how you feel about yourself.
    Your convinctions should be lax, however, because, contrary to what we may think, convictions make us easy to be manipulated...
    Good luck, Peter, with your fresh start, good luck Gina and all other colleagues that help you in sharing with us your insights on anything! Happy New Start!
    St. Nick.

  5. First of all thank you all for your comments!

    Dear Ionut and Gabi: I promise I will not get lazy and will keep in touch with you on this new blog.

    Dear St. Nick: nice sharing some thoughts with you, great contribution, this is what I would like to see as reaction to what I write – your own thought on the same subject. Indeed, you are right that “Anonymous / bell” is contradicting within one phrase, but I do not think he/she perceived it as such. Anyway, parts of your message I will set aside and use as good advice for the future… I will let you wonder which parts...

    Thank you,

  6. Dear Bell: I will dedicate additional space for answering your comment, as you were my first contributor (thank you!) and you made me feel the need to share a little more than I did in the initial post.

    I first read your text late at night and my first reaction was: too complicated for this hour. I could not see the connection between your entry and my post, so I said to myself ‘read it again, when you have more time to understand”. I did it now.

    Second reaction: I see it as a distinct contribution to the blog; you wanted to share with me your thought about convictions. I agree with you – they are a really bad enemy of truth. But they can be enemy also of lie and deceit. Convictions can kill communication, but can also win elections and build empires, can be the fundament of trust, of religious communities, of scientific circles and so on. It is a matter of context and perception.

    Third reaction: your comment looks like the result of a perception of my post. This is why I felt the need to tell you more about myself: I like to write just to share thoughts, without intention to issue judgment or uncover the hidden truth. I do not believe there is one big enemy of truth, as I do not believe there is only one truth in any context. I rather believe in the trilogy “his story, her story and the truth”, with all the three being truly true!

    I like the title chosen by Peter “the power of perception”. However, we could as well call it “the beauty of perception”. It is not about choosing between the “right” and “wrong”. It is also not about perceiving the same thing in the same way, all the time. It does not necessarily hide something between the lines. You may say it is about the beauty of diversity - of people, of words, of things, of moods, and (by all means) of perception.

    I go one step forward. Reading your comment, I believe you centered your perception on the story about a woman and a man, and the communication between them. For me it was only a poor attempt to explain somehow my different perception between “nothing is wrong” and “everything is all right”. I realized it was a bad example as soon as I finished the ‘story’. That is why I said what I wanted to share was actually a pure gut-feeling. If you read the post again, maybe you will see it differently this second time. I give you more evidence that everything is fictional: I don’t even have a husband or boyfriend! But I can easily imagine one.

    I would not consider perception as a “mass problem”. It may cause some misunderstanding, but this is life happening to us - every day.

    I also did not say anywhere that the “state of heart” is dependent on our perceptions. But now, that you said you disagree with it, I will have to disagree with you. On the one hand, perception is influenced by the state of mind, or heart, or stomach. And on the other hand, the state of mind, or heart, or stomach is influenced by the perception. Everything around us has cause and effect, everything is interconnected, even thou sometimes the connections are hidden to us. Just like the old dilemma with the hen and the egg – which one was the first?

    This brings me back to my ring, the beginning (and now also the end) of my story. It is comprised of a spherical stone, placed in the middle of a round silver circle and next to it is a small spiral. I hope the artist will not be upset because I give you this link, to see it:
    A perfect shape (the sphere), while the spiral usually symbolizes infinity, considered to have neither beginning nor end. So is the life cycle – perception, feeling, thought, action, and so on. Not necessarily in this order.

    If there is a conclusion between the lines of my post, I hope that everybody will read a different one. I did not intend to inflict any on the readers. I just wanted to share with you some thoughts - about a ring, a state of heart and a walk home from work.

    Thank you,