Saturday, November 12, 2016
What is observed is not always what is seen. In fact, the perception of the world through sight can obscure reality; overwhelming the senses with an immediacy that precludes more complex comprehension. Like a flash dims vision, certain images can conceal the meaning that lies beyond; evoking an awareness dulling blindness brought on by fear and hatred.
When we are trained to react to certain stimuli with revulsion, our perception of something fitting the pattern evokes a visceral response; clouding our judgement and leaving us vulnerable to instinctive reactions. Thus, the homeless person asking for money incites anger, and prompts a harsh reply to a simple request. The ethnically dressed individual moves us to scorn their attire as disruptive or disingenuous. Protestors become ungrateful children, whining pathetically or shouting dangerously at a system they should respect. Those with whom we disagree morph into deplorable creatures deserving contempt and punishment. What we think we see precludes an objective analysis of who stands before us, and allows condemnation to flow uninhibited.
This self indulgent diminishment of our moral judgements cripples us. The less we see clearly, the darker the environment becomes, and the less likely we are to act appropriately. Monsters arise from the dimly lit shadows of our fading vision, threats that trigger the lighting of torches and the raising of pitchforks. The mentality of the mob pervades our mindset, even when alone, triggering deeds that even the coming darkness can not obscure. The sight of blindness is lost.