To the sage and thought-provoking observation, authored by William Shakespeare, in his play, “As You Like It,” “All the world’s a stage and the men and women in it merely actors” we would most respectfully and humbly, offer an addendum. In addition to the profession of actors, we would presume to add producers, casting directors and script writers. Moreover, the role(s) we opt for on the world stage may differ from the parts attributed to us by others, in the same ratio of difference as perception bears to reality.
The vital necessity to maintain a felt consistency of self- identification requires an acceptance and recognition by others with whom we endeavor to establish a uniformly accepted script (consensus of reality) and a common state of affairs. It is virtually contractual.
We tactically assign the leading and supporting roles, in the wake of events, in order to personally apprehend the actions of others in accordance with our own fixed expectations; the latter founded upon, and in accordance with, our individually perceived needs. Of course, too great a variance in personal interpretation from the public consensus of reality, would be, by medical or practical necessity, evaluated as requiring therapy. We may not all see the same color red at the traffic light, but it is a vital necessity to see that it is a “red” light.
We all appear to have our own nuanced recording equipment, visual as well as auditory, which transcribes our perceived scenario of events and which may be at variance from that of others based on (understood) past experiences, religious beliefs, personal assumptions and expectations; notwithstanding which it seems, experienced reality is solely accessible to us by means of our personal perception. To some extent, at least, each of us experiences a somewhat differing cinematic presentation. By reason of identical human dynamics, even settled “History” is subjective. (See: Blog #93).
Although circumstances and especially atypical behavior may cause the cancellation or amendment of an assigned role, there is an important need for us to see others in a certain defined role and context so that we may maintain an understanding of our own part in life’s play and retain our personal self-image.
It may be instructive to note that whenever we comment on others we are at the same time, describing ourselves. The choice of subject matter, selection of criteria, observations and judgments are no less than revelatory of who we are, our perceptions and personal take on reality.
It might therefore be concluded that observation and evaluation of events, are personal and individual; the recognition and general understanding of this phenomenon might prevent insularity and strife and ultimately facilitate societal consensus, peace and tolerance.