Cliches and phrases are a very common part of everyday speech, but not all cliches and phrases are equally relevant or true. I've heard one particular phrase quite a bit in the last few weeks and I would like to start a campaign to have this phrase banned, for good.
"Perception is reality."
I hate this sentence; I really, really do. I hate it with an amazing passion, and not because it is overused. I hate it because it is dismissive and defeatist and flat out wrong. I think knitters, more than anyone else, know just how inaccurate the statement is.
Think of all the knitters out there who have knit a gargantuan sock, one too large for Big Foot, who honestly perceived the sock as maybe big enough to fit their husbands' feet. They may have even been a bit concerned the sock would be too small. They happily knitted away as the sock grew to the size of Delaware and then casted off, only to be shocked when their dear hubbies slipped the sock over both feet... at the same time. These knitters believed the sock would fit. According to the statement above, their perception of the size of the sock should have been enough to make it a reality, but it didn't because the statement is wrong, people! Just because someone, or a group of someones, perceives something as true and real doesn't mean it is true or real.
Think back to the middle ages when all of Europe believed the world was flat. They looked around and said to each other, the world must be flat because it looks flat. Everyone then acted as if the world was flat because the flatness was part of his reality. People didn't wonder far from home or sail too far out into the ocean because they were worried they would fall off the earth. Then one voice stood up and looked around and decided he was going to question this "reality." He had daring to think beyond the small dismissive thinking of everyone else and to search for what was truly real.
Saying "Perception is reality" keeps people from pushing the envelope and making advances and finding new interest and finding the talents in others. Saying it is the same as throwing up one's hands and saying "Oh, well, that's what someone else thinks. It is right because he thinks it is right. I must now let it impact my reality, and there is nothing I can do to change."
Well, I'm not going to take that attitude. People may perceive me as the voice of doubt or a nonconformist, but really, I'm the voice that asks, "Are you sure you believe that? Why don't you look at that sock one more time. I know, how about trying it on as you knit! You may be surprised by what you find."