perception


Howler monkeys poop in their hand and chuck crap at you if they think you are eyeing them too closely. But the annoying creatures on the ground continue to press their luck with silver machines that point and beep and flash and snap.

A seeing eye dog sees for two. Perceiving the planet for someone who was given four out of five.

Along with Canadian Olympian gold (among others) medal winner Clara Hughes, 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a form of mental illness at some point in their lives. (Canadian Institute of Health Research, www.letstalkbell.ca). You wouldn't think it to look at her. Or us. You wouldn't think people shining on the outside are screaming on the inside.

This month it's Egypt. Soon there will be another political disagreement between right and left or North and South. It will stem from differences of opinion, value and perception. Then there will be another after that. And another and another and another...

"I really think it's a great time to be an amputee," is a line from a video I produced. A young woman from Oklahoma trying out her new bionic hand. (touchbionics.com/tv?video=lindsey) The editor and I giggled every time we heard it, but for her, it was the truth. This invention made things a whole lot better. Positive and inspiring and not something you hear everyday.

100 sled dogs die senselessly. There is only one way of to perceive that. If only shit could be thrown where it is needed most.

A mother will perceive her child to be full of talent, beauty, intelligence and wisdom. Even if the child is bedridden with a disease that inhibits them from feeding themselves. Another mother will leave her newborn in a shopping mall's bathroom toilet.

—Synonyms.
1. awareness, sense, recognition.

In 2008, HSBC launched a marketing campaign entirely based on perception. "In each “Different Values” ad, created by JWT, New York and London, a single image repeats three times, with a different one-word interpretation imposed over each photo. In one, the words “style,” “soldier,” and “survivor” overlay the photo of the back of a gender-neutral shaved head." (hsbcusa.com/ourcompany/pressroom/2008/news_10292008_hsbc_campaign.html)

The campaign continues to change, paring it down to two photos in stead of three. Using words like "traditional vs. trendy" and "good vs. bad" over images of hennaed hands, a tattooed shoulder, chocolate cake and papayas. If you've walked the hallway to a flight recently you know what I mean. The message is open to interpretation based on your investment style, cultural background and...perception. These posters however beg the question: Which is the positive and which is the negative? Well, it depends.
"It encapsulates our global outlook that acknowledges and respects that people value things in very different ways.” Tracy Britton, Head of marketing for HSBC Bank, USA, N.A said. (hsbcusa.com/ourcompany/pressroom/2008/news_10292008_hsbc_campaign.html)

Last week a cab driver in Ottawa told me how multiculturalism in Canada is not working. Trudeau ruined the country and Stephen Harper is doing a good job. The cabbie - not a real taxi driver but a retired guy driving a cab - pointed out that he was an immigrant himself 40 years ago. Now he is thinking of suing the federal government because the Anglo Saxon country he signed up for doesn't exist. "You can't have so many different people here who all expect to keep on with their cultures. Enough of this political correctness. Oh I am sick of it!" Then he helped me with my bags when we arrived at my destination.

Eating oatmeal and berries and nuts and seeds makes you "one of those health nuts"; direct is perceived as aggressive; ignorant equals stupid; drinking is acceptable but smoking pot is a problem; boards of directors never say "OK, we've made enough."; unruly kids are stamped with ADHD while their busy parents run to the pharmacy for the solution.

So we have options and opinions and agree to disagree on things a) black b) white or c) grey. There are almost seven billion of us and counting. Too many perceptions and not enough water.

It's mid February and there are houses on my street that still have Christmas lights up. This, it would appear, is flat out denial.

Looking in the mirror is pointless. You can never see what others see. Whether it's how they perceive themselves, what they see in you, or their idea about a monkey in tree tossing turds at tourists.

If through experimental forensic futuristic manipulation we evolve to a point where we are able to dissect the perceptions of our families, friends, enemies, animals, politicians, foreigners, lovers and acquaintances and they in turn, will understand ours...what a dull existence it will be.

But that's just my perception.