I remember the day vividly. I had moved to Moscow unwisely in the middle of winter, and finally, around four months later, the first real spring day had arrived. The sun bore her rays magnificently, forcing the city’s residents into an ant-like procession, navigating small trails between the remaining ice blocks and the rapidly increasing streams. It was a glorious day.
I remember it clearly because it was only -5 C (23 F) and so, for the first since I had come to Russia, I didn’t need to wear a hat.
How liberating it felt!
And yet, if you were to take me right now to the Falkland Islands (or Malvinas as they like to say here), then I would most definitely need a hat… even though it’s only 4 C (40 F).
A day when, in fact, a hat was needed…
Indeed, trying to decide what to wear, based on the abstract numbers provided to us on a daily, or hourly, basis is always a feat… that’s because the objective reality does not always coincide with our subjective experience.
It may say 13 C (55 F) on my app, but I don’t need a jacket, let alone a sweater, in the piercing sun. Likewise a predicted ‘warm’ day won’t be enjoyed coat-free if the wind picks up from the south, straight from a penguin’s breath.
And while weather might be the most obvious example, this objective/subjective dilemma can be seen in numerous ways… even in your own responses!
To quote Peter, a reader:
“Excellent remarks, content, formatting, and selection of readers’ answers to your questions. Their responses are a reflection of the value of you, your family of contributors, and your raison d’etre: the mission in life you all exist for.
And the breadth of your followers’/audience’s opinions reflect the Indian parable
of the blind, wise men surrounding a creature they had never seen or experienced.
They were asked to touch, describe and identify, ‘what is it’?
Needless to say, all of their conclusions were different and relative to where they stood around the elephant.”
No matter your situation, the elephant is still an elephant… however your actions, supplies or worries completely change depending on whether or not you’re at the pitcher’s… or the catcher’s end.
This is a problem that was puzzled by the ancients (like most good questions are), and (like most good answers), their views were widely diverse. The A=A of Aristotle
belief in the almost constant fallacy of our human perception, spring to mind.
But I want to know what you think, dear reader, especially in a world of fake news, continuously new information and extremely different viewpoints…
At what point is our subjective view equal or more important than the objective reality? What does Truth matter if it doesn’t impact us? Should we act according to our perceptions and individual experiences? Do we have a choice?