What The Shaggy Duck Story Teaches Us About Perception - Lauren Bell

What The Shaggy Duck Story Teaches Us About Perception

Top Story About Perception


We are Seeing The World Through Our Unique Lens.

Unconsciously we assume that the way we experience the world is the same way that everyone else experiences the world.

But, for every experience we have, it is interpreted through our perceptions.

These perceptions are based on our own senses, our sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell and the consequent meaning that we then assign to it.

And it is also dependent on our past experiences, internal dialogues, emotions, unconscious programming and more.

So it makes sense that we all have our own interpretations and reactions to experiences as they unfold.


Why is this important?

Knowing this makes us more accepting of other peoples points of view, especially when it is different from our own. And we know that in this world in all it's climates, we need more acceptance, respect and harmony.

As the Dalai Lama says, "Mutual respect is the foundation of genuine harmony."


Pete the Shaggy Duck

When I first read this funny and beautiful story about 'The Shaggy Duck' from Alan Cohen's book, A Course In Miracles Made Easy I was able to understand this more clearly than ever before. It cleverly shows how we all view the world through our own unique lens.

It's worth the read and I hope you enjoy it too.

Image Credit: Ernst Vikne - evikne@mac.com

Image Credit: Ernst Vikne - [email protected]

When I lived in an organic farming community, one morning I sat on the porch of the bunkhouse, watching members walk across a grassy area to the dining hall. 

Beside the path, Pete the duck sat and quacked at people as they walked by. 

A professional singer was the first to pass by Pete that morning.
Upon hearing him, she stopped and told him, “How nice of you to sing me a morning song!”

The next woman along the path was rather overweight. When she heard Pete quack in her direction, she scolded him, “You’re always quacking for more food, Pete. It’s time you stuck to your diet!” 

The final person to pass was a very intellectual architect. Hearing Pete’s voice, he retorted, “Questions, Pete—always questions! How about some answers for a change?” 

Hmm . . . Each person saw Pete through the lens of his or her own self-perception. They projected their worldview onto the duck and attributed their beliefs about themselves to him. It was their own selves they were talking to. 

We are all speaking only to our own self.

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