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Perception: A prostitute in the president's office!

09 May 2012, 07:10
So you clicked on the headline link, yes? What does that make you? A sexual deviant? A scandal slave? A political follower? How do you perceive yourself?

We are all slaves to our perception: nobody escapes this fact. We see a black man in a BMW and we say "oh, yet another beneficiary of corrupt tender process!". We see a white man with a khaki shirt driving a 4x4 and we say "oh, another racist farmer". Is it not completely plausible that these two people are business partners in a respectable company?

Originally from Durban and brought up in an English home under the apartheid "regime", I can agree that there was an expected amount of racism that I was exposed to, although it was never taught in our schools. There was consciousness of "black" areas, "Indian" areas, "colored" areas, and yes, even "good" areas and "poor" areas. But life was what you made of it, as it is today... which may be why our leaders are drawn to corruption: they are making what they can out of life!

"All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others." (George Orwell: Animal Farm) This statement has been thrown about a lot, and we have to ask why we as the supposedly intelligent species, have to continue hitting our heads against the wall. However the odds are stacked, they will be either FOR or AGAINST us. The power that is in control obviously has the advantage, and will be prone to abuse that advantage! It is our responsibility to weigh the perceptions we have, and balance them with logical outcomes... and act on those perceived outcomes to achieve the best end for ourselves.

A certain woman looks at her husband and sees a nurturing, confident businessman that supports his family in every way. His employees see the life of the party, a cheat, a liar and a fraudster with a double life. His suppliers accept his cheques because he always honors his debts. His children see his wandering eye and wonder about the secrets he has in his head. Does it matter how he perceives himself?

Are we guilty of being too passive when we perceive the evils amongst us? I believe we need to have our own set of rules when we apply judgment on what we perceive to be wrong. In politics we at least have our vote (although many have no idea of its worth). In society we have the right to disassociate ourselves with people we disagree with, or legal action even. But what about in our own minds? Are we not influenced by our past, tainting the very perception that we have to trust to make logical decisions? Of course we are. So, let us make decisions based on some more basic level.

On a job application form you may see things like:

Race?    Are you black, white, colored, Indian, other? On a basic level there is one answer. I am human.
Sex?     This one could be answered yes or no. It may be more apt to ask "Are you hormonally complex?"

Which brings me to the title of the article... would there be any difference in your perception of your president if he entertained prostitutes in his office? The quick answer in the case of our current president would normally be "not at all", but would it not be a good thing for him to assess the validity of his citizens' needs?

We are victims of our own perception.

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