In my first year of academia my pych1100 prof told us about differences in how people perceive the world around through their five senses. “Our eyes are the most deceiving of all our portals to the world around us,” he said. However, the eyes are as only good as the machine that drives them. The machine he is refering to is, of course, our brain. We can see the colours, differentiate between shapes, and determine separate objects from one another and their proximity. But the information is as only as good as the machine that interprets this.
The knowledge that we gather throughout our lives helps us see even further with every new discovery, observation and experience. We compile all this data into our memories and store them so that when events come along, we can compare and formulate reliable and appropriate responses to them. However there comes a time when we stop learning and regress to a certain point. We refuse to learn and expand our understanding of the world around us and stand stead-fast on unreliable and fortuitous concepts that we look no further to learn from, but instead bow down to far out explanations instead. The tragedy in this is history continuously repeating itself.
Our eyes have one fundamental fault, they are as good as the machine that runs them. Our eyes can be easily deceived and manipulated. Optical illusions can make us see things that are not there, or worse yet, make us not see things that are there that are not. Of the entire electromagnetic spectrum, the visible light that we can see is only a sliver of it. Our eyes see so little, yet we depend on them so much. Our sight is our ability to move, recognize and understand—this is also our Achilles’ heal.
A humours poster from that class said, “let your brain do the seeing.” On the poster was a star in front of a galaxy somewhere in visible space. A little inset box shows an even closer image of that star revealing that it is a triple binary system with a red giant star in the centre of it. The text along side of the image stated that, “the Black Hole will eventually eat up all of these stars in 4.3 million years.” How on Earth could our eyes see that?
It takes knowledge and experience to see further. For most, we only need to see far enough to live and survive to get us through our lives. But we miss out on so much. When we limit ourselves, this limits our sight and prevents us from adapting efficiently to the changing world around us. We do this at our own peril.
When we talk about crime we have varying degrees of sightedness here too. Everyone has their opinion on crime. Everyone has being affected by someone’s actions towards them, or has done so themselves. However, our understanding of crime is limited to how we see and understand human society and the individuals within it. Crime is based on many things, and emotions are a key component to this. Like the machine that makes our eyes work, it too can tell the eyes to see things as they are not. Only with discipline and rigour can we train our eyes to see above and beyond what could distort the images we see. Crime is complex, as the rules and codes we apply to regulate it, and it is not so simple to understand it without the Will to expand one’s own mind towards it.
This is my “work in progress essay.”