Seeing things differently

12-02-2009 11:17 AM

It was snowing this morning in Dallas, which is quite unusual  for us this time of year.  If we get any at all, it's mostly in January or February.  With the dense cloud cover, everything in the house was a little darker than normal when I got up to get ready for the office.  I pulled out a new pair of black and white tweed pants to wear, with a solid black jacket and my black boots.  I thought it was the perfect outfit for a cold and snowy day.  As I do each morning, I took a last minute glance in the bathroom mirror to make certain that everything was in its place before I walked out the door for my morning commute.

As I was driving across town in the car, now outside in the daylight, suddenly the black and white tweed pants began to mysteriously change to brown and white.  How could that be?  I tried to remember back to when I purchased the pants, wondering if I had intended to buy black and white or brown and white.  What color did I think I was buying?  I couldn't remember, but unconciously this morning, they were definitely black and white.   As I continued the drive in, I had convinved myself that it was simply a reflection of the tan interior in my car that was casting the brown color on my black and white tweed pants.  Still, I wasn't completely sure.

When I arrived at the Mary Kay building, I went straight to the ladies room to settle the matter once and for all, only to find out that my black and white tweed pants had a brown zipper and brown lining!  Alas, yes, I fear I have gone out in public today wearing a black jacket, black boots and brown and white tweed pants.  I have many outfits that very effectively mix brown and black for a fashionable look, but I don't think I'd put this one in that category.  Oh, well.

So here's what it made me think about.  Just as my pants looked diffferent in different lighting conditions, so do our behaviors and the things that happen to us in life. Context is a huge factor in how we perceive things, and how others perceive our words and actions.  What seems right in one situation might turn out badly in a different situation.  Always be considerate of the context. Take the time to look around, and think about what is going on, before you act. 

P.S.  I was very tempted to wait until tomorrow to post this blog, thinking the fewer people that saw me today the better.  I'm not a celebrity, so the chances of my error in judgment winding up in the tabloids is slim to none, but I've seen too many examples recently that prove if you don't fess up, someone else will do it for you and then you have a lot of explaining to do. So, I decided to go ahead and face it.  Not to mention the fact that it gave me a great analogy to talk about the importance of context.