My wife and I are a bit old fashioned.
For as much as I make use of my tablet and Ipad and smartphone, The New York Times still is delivered to our front door each morning. So, in addition to looking at the news on Flipboard, each morning I sit at our kitchen table with my cup of coffee and read the paper. Literally. Read the paper.
As I read through the headlines this morning, pausing to read an occasional article, I realized, as I was about to turn the page, I had misread a headline I had just glanced at. I had read Midwest when the headline clearly said Mideast. A pretty significant misread on my part which, when I realized my mistake, completely changed the tone and message of the headline. Why the mistake? I have no idea? Maybe it was because a moment before I was reading an article which referenced the Midwest and unconsciously made the assumption that the next article was going to be similar. But it made me wonder how often we only see what we expect to see.
We live in a moment in time when many of us expect to see the worst.
Foreigners taking over our communities.
Government out to get us.
Headlines and politicians whose pronouncements feed our fear.
All of which become not only what we see, but reinforce the blinders we wear.
While I have worked my way through the responsibilities of today, running in the background of my thinking is this question: What do I expect to see?
What do I expect to see when I read the news?
Or, when I walk down the street?
Or, when I see a stranger?
Or, when someone challenges me with a question?
And, it raises the question…
With the particular blinders I wear, what am I missing?