When I went to DC to visit my daughter, we happened upon this quote:
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are
As to the attribution, I wrote down in my planner Anais Nin. I even remember this quote being on the wall of the museum we were at, and I remember seeing Anais Nin up there on the wall as I argued about it with my daughter. But, when I googled it to make sure I had the quote right, it turns out that the quote originally was said by Rabbi Shemuel ben Nachmani. BTW, also can be attributed to an elocution professor at Harvard, a 1914 newspaper article, H.M. Tomlinson, and Steven Covey (quoteinvestigator.com) You can attribute the quote to whomever you wish…
So there’s your history lesson for the morning…
My daughter thinks this quote is “oppressive”. That this gives the person the fact to explain away their actions regarding any situation and gives them license to do whatever they want because they think it’s justified.
I think the quote is “accurate“. I think people bring their own baggage to every situation they encounter, and they can’t help but see the world as they do because it’s what they know.
I even argued with my daughter that my interpretation bares merit because we are both bringing ourselves into meaning of the quote…(FYI- when you have a pedantic argument about semantics with your daughter there should be a winner to the debate…)
What words would you use to describe this quote? What do you think about when you read it?
Why do you think the Renwick Gallery in DC would choose to attribute the quote to Nin as opposed to one of the other sources? Is this their own way of saying that they see the quote as they are?
Discuss any aspect of this that you choose: