Your perception can be the death of you
“Like the Titanic, our nation has failed to change course. In addition, the recent celebratory ringing of the church bells at the National Cathedral over the Supreme Court’s decision regarding “Gay Rights” has caused our country’s hull to be struck just below the waterline. The damage is currently unseen… but deadly.”–Daniel Holdings
By Daniel Holdings
12 July 2013
It has been said that it is not the military might of the United States, nor our great wealth and not even our vast influence that has made this country great. It is the indomitable American spirit, born into the hearts of its citizens who honor freedom and liberty. While often quoted and, according to the dictionary, as applied to the American spirit, indomitable means that we “cannot be subdued or overcome” and because of our “will and courage,” we are “unconquerable.”
But does the axiom hold true today?
During the Indian Ocean earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 2004, there were numerous stories where, before the tsunami, people saw the ocean waters recede. Their perception was that the event was special and unprecedented. Many of the curious had to go and see for themselves this interesting phenomenon.
We know what happened next – The massive waves began to rush in and wash hundreds of thousands of people away to their deaths – All because of the wrong “perception”.
Some would call such an event the result of normalcy bias; the false belief that because something has never happened, it CAN’T happen.
But tell that to the Jews who lived through the Holocaust. Many of that day said that Hitler would never allow such a thing to happen. He was, after all, a “good man” who was sent to save Germany.
The same could be said of more recent holocausts. Serbian ethnic cleansing comes to mind, as does the Cambodian genocide where the Khmer Rouge killed more than a million and a half of their own people.
In those examples, citizen’s perception told them that such atrocities could not happen in their countries. They too, were nations of laws with governments only trying to do what was “best” for their people.
While the temptation is to make a comparison with today’s conflicts in the Middle East, a broader point must be made if we are to change our perception before it kills us.
The famous story of the Titanic holds many truths that can help us examine our own perceptions. According to the “official” story, the iceberg was spotted only ¼ mile away, a mere five minutes before the “unsinkable” ship side-swiped the unmovable chunk of ice.