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 wrong”. 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 approach. 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! Love, Georgina Popescu