It’s simple, really…


…but it’s not easy. It takes a good, sharp knife to pare away the things that get in the way.

There’s a tendency to define value based on differences. When you get into a car, you expect the seat to feel a certain way, to line you up in the exact position you need to be in to drive. You expect the key to go into the ignition, and when turned, the car starts. You expect the car to start. You expect the wheels to turn the tires and move the car down the road. You expect the car to brake when you hit the one pedal, and go when your foot hits the other. You expect to guide the car safely along the roadways, and you expect everyone else will do the same.

But, what if someone else drove the car before you and moved the seat? What if the car doesn’t start when you turn the key? What if one of the tires went flat? What if nothing happened when you pressed on the accelerator – or the brakes? What if someone decided they weren’t going to obey that red light and plowed through the intersection?

Once those common expectations come into question, there’s a problem. It may be big or small, complicated or simple, or somewhere in the middle, but it still takes a moment or two to decipher. Some find it easy to roll with it; others find themselves in a dilemna and are spun into a full-fledged drama, an emotional response that might not be appropriate to the situation.

That’s what it boils down to: a difference in perception.

Call it “world view,” “perspective,” “attitude,” or whatever other buzz word applies, it still boils down to “different.”

A car delivers you from Point A to Point B. It’s a good car when everything goes as expected and it’s a piece of junk when it doesn’t. It’s that simple. Does it matter if that car is an old clunker or a brand new Mercedes? Does it matter if the car cost $600 or $30,000? It doesn’t matter. It’s purpose is to get from A to B, and when you set out to go from A to B, that’s all that counts. If the car doesn’t dash your expectations, it has value.

It’s called “taste” when you consider the subjective such as art, music, film, or home decor. Instead of “perception,” it falls under “preference.” A photo, like the one above, has value to me if it somehow goes beyond expectation to bring to the forefront, or imply, something more than what is immediately visible. It’s the same with music, both what I play and what I listen to. I’ve found this to be a difference many times, and the differences multiply when you throw in the topics of religion and politics.

Get the knife out and start paring away!

Once the junk is peeled away, value expands. Music is a universal language, so they say. Art speaks volumes of the artist, the times, the culture. A photo tells in an instant a thousand words. A religion affirms the existence of God, and politics … well… I’ll have to think about that one.

Value is in the different way every moment is perceived. Just like you, I perceive every moment in a different way. Simply put, every moment is different. Because I assign value to my own perceptions, so do your perceptions have value to me as well. Freedom of choice, a fundamental right of everyone, kicks in and frees everyone to go with what they prefer. Because preferences are different does not negate the value assigned to perception.

There it is. It’s simple. Respect differences.
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