It's late here and I should be asleep but I had to get out of bed and blog because my mind was restless thinking about some of the things a guest lecturer said in my class this evening. In the shower tonight after class (I do all my best thinking in the shower, I wish I could blog in there...someone please invent a waterproof laptop) I couldn't stop thinking about one thing this speaker said:
Perception is Reality.
Certainly not a truly novel concept, but I had never really thought about to what degree there is no absolute reality in life. I apologize in advance for the admittedly heavy nature of this blog, I'll try not to get too philosophical here on you. But this is what I realized...
So most people know what advertising and marketing is, and most educated people understand the concept of propaganda. It's no secret that people are trying to sell us things every second of every day...just look to the right of this text and you'll see ads on my blog. Anyways, it's everywhere. Some subtle like product placement, some not so subtle like that Head On commercial.
But products aren't the only things being marketed, people market other people to us as well. From agents to publicists to PR reps to political campaign teams, if you want people to think or feel a certain way about you, there is someone you can hire to accomplish that.
We are even being sold intangible objects, such as ideas and issues. Smoking is bad. The only way to prevent pregnancy is abstinence. You need to be counted in the Census. Climate Change is a liberal myth. Exercise is good for you. Jesus will save your soul. We need comprehensive healthcare reform.
How do you sort out the truths from the untruths? What's right? Who's not actually who they say they are? Is that really good for me?
There is so much spin in our world it can make your head spin to think about it. Literally everything around you, what you eat, what you're wearing, what you're doing, where you are, who you're with, how you feel about the topics I blog on, are all decisions you made either consciously or unconsciously because of how you perceived something to be based on how someone else spun it. Perception is Reality.
Sure I have strong beliefs, but I understand that at the end of the day those things are just that...MY beliefs. They are not the truth. They are also not a lie. To me they are right, to others they are wrong. And this is where politics come into play. I swear there's a reason to all this rambling.
Everyone involved in politics from the politicians themselves to the campaign teams, the legislative staffers, lobbyists, trial lawyers, consultants, federal agencies and departments, advocacy groups, coalitions, non-profits, all the way down to the media and even the voters themselves, everyone is just trying to do the same thing: and that's spin their issue, their person, their idea. Make their perception your perception and hence your reality.
The more time I spend out here in DC, the more I start to feel like politics is a game for grown ups. There is no right and wrong like there was back in kindergarten. 2+2 doesn't have to equal 4 if you can convince enough people that it really equals 5. Democrats or Republicans, liberals or conservatives, tea partiers or blue dogs, pro-lifers or pro-choicers, FOX or MSNBC...neither one is ever right and the other wrong. BUT there is always a winner and always a loser. What perception is your reality? Think about it and prepare to get dizzy.