I’ll set the scene: I was waiting outside of the restrooms at the Asia Society a few weeks ago. I overheard the following conversation. It’s not the exact words, but it’s the spirit of the conversation. Assume this conversation lasted no longer than two minutes max- probably more like one, so you get the time frame:

A: New York is SOOOO not a ghost town

B: I know! The republicans are stupid and arrogant. They have no idea what they’re talking about . Just look at the city (they were standing by a window)

A: I don’t know how anyone can be a Republican. How uninformed are they?

B: Crazy

A: Oh. You’ll never believe it! Someone finally moved into the building across the street. it’s been empty for six months since it opened. I now see one light when I look over there. It was so dark before.

B: I can imagine. A bunch of people moved out of the building next door to me. My super said that they were all foreign investors.

A: Oh…did you see that &^%^$ closed?

B: Nooo? I loved that place. @#@$%^ closed too.

A: Yeah. I saw that. Too bad they couldn’t stay in business.

My Husband came out of the restroom, so I missed the rest…

But anyway….

Other than the fact that I am an eavesdropper, and I wish for an invisibility cloak and super hearing so that I can do it better…

What do we think about the conversation?

Do we, and when I say we I mean all people including myself, see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear?

Can we all go into ostrich mode with the blink of an eye?

Is that really our collective superpower?

40 thoughts on “Anything Can Happen Friday December 4

  1. Everyone’s frame of reference is different, it may partially be they are seeing what they want, but to them it is what they are experiencing. You can take 10 people and put them in the same place and time and each will come out describing the experience differently. My father and 2 aunts were artists and they used to describe asking students to paint something blue, for instance, and they would all come up with something different.

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    1. Very good point. People all perceive things a certain way, and no one else will perceive it exactly the same. But, sometimes you need to listen to what you’re saying. I do this too. I think we all do to a certain extent.

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  2. This may be the morning talking, but I couldn’t follow this conversation very well. 😀 I do often wonder at a thought I read awhile ago, which is that NYers assume nothing exists West of the Mississippi…

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      1. When my daughter was about 7, we took a vacation to Kentucky and Tennessee. People asked me if I had relatives there and when I replied No, they asked why would I ever go there. I replied that I wanted my daughter to know that there are many worthwhile things that are beyond the boundaries of the Hudson and East rivers. I choose to live here because I don’t like driving and I like the abundance of culture. But, I have never visited any part of this country that hasn’t been amazing and full of wonderful things.

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  3. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think it’s as much seeing what you want as it is finding what you’re looking for. And while that may sound like two ways to say the same thing, the nugget of truth is in the subtle difference.
    Each of us does it. It doesn’t matter if you’re liberal or conservative. It doesn’t matter what color skin you have. It doesn’t matter your gender. It doesn’t matter if it’s purposeful or not. We inevitably find what we’re looking for.
    I think the real superpower lies is what you do with what you find.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You are completely right. Every one of us does this. And you’ve hit on some very good points, as always. I like the finding what you’re looking for, almost like we subconsciously stack the deck.

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    1. I get that it’s perspective, but at what point do we take the blinders off? I don’t really want to face reality either, but if you keep skipping the electric bill, eventually you’re in the dark

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yeah all about personal perspective for sure. I just love that evesdrop, not the first time you’ve posted this. The best conversation I lent an ear to was two guys on a date that met thru a furry dating site (furries are people that dress in animal costumes to get off), or the guy at work that once said after sticking his head into the men’s room “It smells like stripper in hear” out of context hilarious in truth he meant paint stripper. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hmmm. First, if you ever find an invisibility cloak, PLEASE, let me know. I want one too. Okay, the conversation. Yes, we do all see that which we want, or better language, are programmed to see. And, we do have choice about stepping outside of that “programming.” The issue? Some people are completely unaware. Nice post, LA. Have a great Saturday! 🙂

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  6. I believe we all see and hear almost everything through the lens of our own personal prejudices. Because these women believed that only Republicans believe people are moving out of NYC, and they clearly believe that Republicans are inferiors humans, they can’t see any evidence of NYC turning into a “ghost town.” I think we have to make a real effort to accept facts that don’t fit into our particular way of looking at the world, and most people aren’t willing to make that effort. Which results in the divide our country has been experiencing for the past several years, unfortunately.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are correct in every line of your if/than statement. And we have to start admitting to ourselves that we might be wrong about something, that there might be another way of looking at things…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A great example of cognitive dissonance! One of the best parts of living in NYC is eavesdropping. I find I’m starting to write down the fragments I hear…grist for the dialog mill in my writing 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. America, what a country. And I can say this because I am a California native who recently returned from that bastion of ignorant hillbillies – Tennessee!

    No, really, what I mean is that one can find closed and open-minded people just about anywhere. A potential “solution” to this cognitive dissonance is to physically get out of your comfort zone and spend some time, even if it is just as a tourist, in some other parts of the country. It’s an eye and mind-opening experience and helps to make it possible to “walk a mile (or some shorter distance) in the other person’s shoes.”

    Of course, I’m glad to be back in the land of eternal sunshine and generally intelligent and nonsectarian citizens, after escaping from the Bible Belt.

    Liked by 1 person

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