Hey there everyone!!
What’s at the essence of the Rob Ford debate? Are his personal lifestyle choices distinct from his official capacity as Mayor? Can his prior political successes outshine his now tarnished public image? This is the ultimate question of results versus perception. What’s more important?
Is Faster, Faster?
When I was in grade school, I didn’t show my work in math class nor require any “drafts” in my writings. I did it all in my head, and I was right. But the teachers didn’t like that. “How do we know you didn’t cheat?” they would question. In retrospect, I wish I had said, “Because I’m blind, and it’s impossible for me to copy from someone else.”
They did have a good point, though. By taking the time to show my work, I would develop habits of being thorough, and it would help me to solve more complex problems in the future. Even though I had the right results in a shorter period of time, my grades (the perception of my success) would reflect my ability to follow direction.
Do the Clothes Fit?
Being in business at the age of fourteen, I quickly understood that people would take me much more seriously if I was wearing a business suit. So I did, and it worked. Surprisingly, some acquaintances would even depart by saying “say hi to your wife and kids for me.”
As I became more successful, I found business suits to be extremely uncomfortable and a nuisance. So I stopped wearing them, and felt even more successful because I had the freedom and luxury to wear what I wanted. Isn’t it ironic that in order to look successful, one must be so limited and constrained in what they wear? To cater to perception, in this case, negatively affects the reality that one would want to create out of success.
Is Perception More Powerful than Reality?
That’s the big the question and paradox. Our perception does create our reality, and the perceptions of our society creates our collective reality. However, our perceptions, or society’s perceptions may be inaccurate, and may mold our lives/culture in a disempowering way. Perception and reality not a chicken-and-egg thing; it’s an interconnected, interdependent, co-creative process.
The challenge with the Rob Ford situation is that there is far more parody/perception than anything else. Everybody takes a snippet of video footage, and puts their spin on it. So what’s the reality? Whatever you want it to be. People tend to have an emotional opinion, and then find logic and examples to validate that opinion.
Play with Both Sides
While it may be useful to continually strengthen one perception and develop conviction, I’ve found the opposite to be transformational. Think about arguments to defend and validate what you do NOT believe. And from time to time, have friendly debates that argue the opposite of where you really stand for. This creates more awareness, relatedness, empathy, and compassion as you interact with a wider diversity of individuals.
Let’s love the world together...
[)anish /|hmed, blind visionary
P.S. Check out more articles relating to Toronto’s Mayor, Rob Ford.
Other Ways of “Seeing” the Rob Ford Story
Are You Busy Like A Mayor?