Perception is real and the truth is not…?

Perception is real and the truth is not…?

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18. Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them

“Pictures or it didn’t happen.”

“Perception is real and the truth is not.”

Businesses spend millions on advertising and public relations, documenting their corporate philanthropy activities for the world to adore. Politicians spend millions (hopefully, private money and not public money) to campaign and produce highlight reels (hopefully, highlight “reals”).

In a sense, we live in a world where documentation and perception are very important. But the tragedy is when we reduce reality to mere perceptions, or hyperfocus on appearances without accounting for what may be unseen but remain true. It is easier to live in a world of appearances, perhaps because it’s easier to control and manufacture.

But is this the way we should live our lives? Chasing rewards?

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi had an insight about flow or being in the zone. This is when the activity is the reward in itself, akin to a performer losing one’s ego — becoming one with the act itself. How wonderful would it be if we could enter a state of “good flow”, as in, doing and being good for goodness’s sake?

… Could this be how we can approximate God as the True Good?

For Catholics, today is Ash Wednesday, and we show to the world a sign of our faith through the ashes on our foreheads. May we do this not for appearance’s sake, but for goodness’s sake.


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