How One Little Dress Changed The Way We See Literally Everything

You’ve seen it, right? The dress. Oh my good goodness, the dress! What color is that dress? Is it white and gold? Is it dressblack and blue? Is it light blue and sort of brown? What color is it?! And why does it appear differently to different people? Some have suggested lighting and many other things but nobody can seem to agree. One thing is for sure, it’s causing quite a stir.

For me, I thought this dress thing was a bunch of hullabaloo. Just another weird Internet thing. We see them all the time. I kept seeing pictures of it, and it was white and gold every time I saw it. I read an article about it, the dress was white and gold. I read the comments on that same article and scrolled back up. The dress was blue and black. How in the world… ?! For the rest of the day, it appeared blue and black no matter where I saw it. However, when I looked it up just a few minutes ago to get a picture to go with this article, it looked white and gold again! I opened a new window and switched back to it and it had changed again! Now instead of white and gold or deep blue and black, it is a lighter blue and sort of brown or olive color. Mind=blown. Seriously.

Maybe there is a lesson in this for us. Aside from the whole “What the heck?!” aspect of this, the dress has made me question a lot of things. How many other things are we perceiving incorrectly? (I say incorrectly because the dress is indeed blue and black, according to someone who saw it in person.) How many other things are we sure we are seeing for what they are that might look totally different to someone else? My husband and I were looking at the same picture on the same screen. To me it was blue and black, but to him it was white and gold. He could not see what I saw and I could not see what he saw. Can you imagine the arguments that ensued before people realized that this is not just a normal picture of a dress? Good grief!

This is a perfect metaphor for relationships, and communication in general: Sometimes you and the person you are talking to are both looking at the same thing and seeing it completely differently. You cannot see what each other sees because you are locked into your own perception. They cannot see what you see for the same reason and while you are arguing passionately – even viciously – about it, it never even occurs to you that maybe you are both right.

This has shaken up my entire perception regarding truth and perspective. I already knew these things intellectually, but it has never been so starkly illustrated to me before. I hope it has done the same for you.

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