Paying Attention to What You’re Paying Attention To
Perception is a critical element in “Paying Attention to What You’re Paying Attention To.” Turns out not only do we distort what we see, we see things that aren’t there and do not see things that are. For now,, just know that we don’t all see the same world.
One Woman’s Annoyance Is Another Woman’s Free Vacation
For example, each passenger on the oversold United Airlines flight that resulted in Dr. Dao’s famous dragging video had an individual perception of what happened. Once the video hit the air, some people saw a man overwhelmed by brutality. Others saw another example of the downfall of civil behavior.
What I saw was another opportunity that didn’t knock on my seat back. I couldn’t believe that passengers were offered $800, a hotel room, all meals, and a ride on the next flight and not one passenger took them up on the deal? We’re talking Chicago to Louisville, less than three hundred miles. Maybe United didn’t have a flight soon but other airlines did. This was not the last flight out of Siberia before blizzards shut down the airport for the year.
Had I been on the plane, I’d have leapt out of my seat so fast, the whiplash from the seat belt would require stitches on my thighs. More good news for United–to improve my chances to grab a prize, I’d have dug my elbows in and pushed off the patron in the middle seat, rebounded off the lap of the person in the aisle seat, and I’d take out anyone who tried to cut me off in the aisle. (My urgent and rude behavior would be due to my sincere belief that everyone on the plane, including my seatmates, was a contestant I had to outrace.)
My generous efforts to help out the airline would have cleared the seats needed by United. Though I would technically be 100 percent responsible for the vacated seats, I would only ask a 10 percent finder’s fee from the $800 payments awarded to the injured.
I’m just saying, one woman’s “Oh, no! This is horrible!” is another woman’s “Hallelujah! Pack my snorkel gear!”