Sometimes We Just Can’t See What Is In Front Of Us

There are times when things are right in front of our face yet we just can’t see them or hear them. Do you remember seeing a picture of the Old Witch who can also be seen as a beautiful Young Woman or the Rabbit that can be seen as a Duck or hear the word Laurel which sounds like Yanny to some people?

Optical illusions and Audio Illusions are things that trick our minds into something we are programmed to see or hear. In some ways, this happens every day to us. In most cases, we quickly realize our mistakes and correct for them. However, there are other times when we do not recognize the mistakes and go through our normal activities incorporating these errors.

Our brains are always trying to make sense of the things we see and hear. When we see a circle, we know that it is a solid circular line. However, when the circle has a tiny break or gap in the line, most of us will still see it as a circle with no break. That is called closure. Our brain has filled in the gap.

Writers often find that they cannot see their own mistakes as they proofread the material. They know what they wanted to say; and, that’s what they see. Misspelled words are corrected and missing words are filled in by their brains.

Unfortunately, this same thing happens when we hear something that disagrees with our well-established beliefs, the things we have seen, heard and were taught as we were growing up. Our brain ignores parts of what we see and hear in order to make it conform to our biases and beliefs which were formed over many years.

Truth is sometimes sacrificed in favor of a lie that has been ingrained for many years. Facts can also be ignored in order to make the words conform to the belief. This all may be difficult to believe or understand.

Politicians have become very good at not answering questions, avoiding the specifics and moving you off the subject. In the world of politics, lies are often disguised as truth and it’s hard to tell the difference. Although it is difficult to tell if someone is lying, you can look for these clues:

1. Has this person always been truthful in the past? Yes No

2. Does the person support his/her statements with facts, details and examples that have been proven to be correct? Yes No

3. Does the person provide specific and clear information? Yes No

4. Does the person use complete sentences? Yes No

5. Does the person give you a ‘real’ (not fake) smile? Yes No

6. Are the person’s story, details and examples consistent from day to day and week to week? Yes No

7. Does the person maintain constant eye contact with you? Yes No

8. Do the person’s facial expressions, tone of voice, breathing and body language seem comfortable with the things they are saying? Yes No

9. Do most well-respected people agree with and support this person and his/her words and actions? Yes No

10. Does your ‘gut’ tell you that this person is telling the truth? Yes No

How many ‘Yes’ answers? _______

How many ‘No’ answers? _______

The more ‘No’ answers there are for the questions in 1 – 10, the more likely the person is lying.

Additional questions:

a. Does the person continually emphasize that he/she is telling the truth? Yes No

b. Does the person mostly talk in generalities rather than details? Yes No

c. When you ask questions, does the person seem to move farther away from you? Yes No

d. Does the person always blame others for the problem? Yes No

e. Does the person seem nervous and uncomfortable? Yes No

f. Does the person correct or change his/her answers or contradict him/herself? Yes No

g. Does the person tend to repeat statements seemingly in an effort to convince you? Yes No

h. When pressed, does the person become stressed, defensive, hostile or show contempt? Yes No

i. Does the person exaggerate and use words like outrageous, unbelievable, awesome, fantastic, amazing and spectacular? Yes No

j. Do some well-respected friends try to distance themselves from this person? Yes No

How many ‘Yes’ answers? _______

How many ‘No’ answers? _______

The more ‘Yes’ answers there are for the questions in a – j, the more likely the person is lying.

Arguments have more than one side. That’s why obtaining the complete truth and all of the facts is so important. We use them both to evaluate the arguments and make logical decisions. Unfortunately, there are some people who will ignore the truth and the facts or carefully cherry pick them and simply embrace any argument that gives them what they want. They put their personal fears and self-interests ahead of what is right.

All of us have difficulty seeing, hearing and understanding an opponent’s point of view. More than that, we have trouble changing our minds about things we have believed for years. Sadly, some people will continue to believe what they have always believed regardless of the truth and the facts. That is not good.

We should all be willing to look at, listen for and seek out the facts and the truth so we can make objective decisions. Blindly going along with any political leader means that we have stopped thinking and are willing to accept misleading, false and illogical information. When we stop requiring facts as proof, many of our most trusted leaders will let us down. Most importantly, when the truth and the facts point in a different direction, we must be willing to change our minds.