I’m one of those people who enjoys the study of human nature wherever I go. Not to make fun of people, just to understand how we all work. One category from my personal human nature studies quest is perception, and how some can have such diverse perceptions of the same event. I took a psychology class years ago that introduced me to the theory that nobody can ever have the same perception as anyone else. Our perceptions can be similar, but they are unique to each and every person. My mission from then on has been to try to understand what other’s perceptions may be like. My favorite thing to do is watch young children make sense of this crazy world they were born into. I enjoy it mostly because their perceptions are usually pretty humorous as they sort it all out.
This summer, the kids and I have enjoyed time at the pool during what they call there, family swim. Family swim comes at dinner time and at times, swimmers have been sparse. One day, when things were slow, a teenage lifeguard took some of her free time to teach our oldest a little about being a lifeguard. The lifeguards at the pool have an eye on her, so that sometime in the future, she can be a lifeguard herself.
The young lifeguard had our oldest jump from the tall look-out chair with a float, while the lifeguard acted as if she was drowning. I must say, the lifeguard was quite an actress; it looked like she was drowning for real. Our oldest then swam out to the drowning actress and “saved” her, just as she was taught.
The whole time our two other children and I were watching, me beaming with pride. The youngest however, had a whole different perception of the event. After all was done, he pointed to the lifeguard and said, “That girl isn’t a very good swimmer”.