Perception is the way in which something is regarded, understood, or interpreted. Everyone has their own perception of what is real. Did you know humans can only perceive three primary colors- red, blue, and green? The combination of these colors makes us see millions more. The mantis shrimp can see twelve. Twelve primary colors! I can’t even imagine, conceptualize, envision, conceive, or conjure up what those color possibilities might be. However, here’s the catch—the mantis shrimp’s brain is so small, it would have no notion of the beauty of the colors it sees. For the mantis shrimp, this complicated and sophisticated color differentiation is only for the practical purposes of mating and hunting. All the potential visual beauty of the perception of all these unimaginable colors is totally lost on the mantis shrimp.

So what is perception really, is it what we see? What do we think? Or what we understand? I think that perception is belief. What we choose to believe and what we want to believe. Our reality, therefore, will always be different from that of another. When we can ‘walk a mile in their shoes’ it means to look at things from the perspective of the other. The knowledge that reality and perception are not the same can help us become less judgmental and more empathetic.

If you get into a fight with your partner, most probably both of you will have a different story to tell. Who is to judge which story is the absolute truth? The reality is that there is no absolute truth. No one person must be blamed, but both partners need to take a step back and look at the situation without pre-conceived notions. After all, God did not merely give us the ability to look but he also gave us the ability to understand. So don’t be a mantis shrimp because life is more than what you perceive.