Sometimes things aren’t how they look on the surface.
People may not be how they appear to be in the first few brief encounters.
I remember a seminar I attended one time on learning about ethnography research, in which the speaker highlighted the value of an in-depth research – “You can give a descriptive picture of the researched matter, but you do not necessarily understand it…(In ethnography) what is importantly is about the researcher’s active participation in people’s lives for at least period of time. You watch, listen and ask…You get the “thick description” which transcends the normal description account, to the rich, complex and in-depth understanding…”
Somehow I relate the philosophical underpinning of ethnography to our perceptions and behaviors in the daily lives.
We are indeed the unique human beings with the rich and complex layers of experiences. Often how we are perceived, and what we perceive may not be the complete picture as how it is presented. And so that leaves us the prolonged journey on observation, experiencing and learning before we reach the real level of understanding.
And so when we read the words, or see a person, let us remind ourselves not to judge or give a conclusive decision. Look again, and this time with a detailed account. Perhaps we find more words underneath the first layer, or the more colorful and rich characters of the other person.
I think this is indeed the beauty of life.
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