Thursday, September 22, 2011

Is the Traffic Light Red or Yellow?

The expression, "Call white black, and black white," means forcing others to accept a false definition to interpret things in one's favor. The Japanese language has exactly same expression. However, the question was if it is really white we that we see?

It was a while ago when Mr. Suzuki and his wife had an argument on running a red light. Mr. Suzuki was driving and his wife was in the passenger's seat. He saw a traffic light that just turned yellow. He sped up and passed the crossroad. His wife complained that he should not have run the red light; however, Mr. Suzuki did not agree that it was a red light. Mr. Suzuki did not mean to call white black. He believed he was a conservative driver and did not intend to break traffic laws. His wife said that at the very moment when Mr. Suzuki started to pass the crossroad, the traffic light changed to red.

The color of the traffic light that Mr. Suzuki saw was yellow. His wife interpreted it as red. Later, his wife asked if he noticed that there was a mother and a daughter waiting for a green light on the corner of the crossroad. She saw them begin to walk across the road. She said this proved that the light was already changing. Listening to his wife, Mr. Suzuki started to doubt if it was really a yellow light when he started to drive across the road.

Later, Mr. Suzuki received a traffic violation notice. He was charged for running a red light at the crossroad where he had an argument with his wife. Despite the fact that he was 100% sure the light was yellow, in the picture he received, the light was red.

As in the case of Mr. Suzuki, even in the simple judgment of a traffic light being yellow or red, our observations would be different depending on our mental influence. Mr. Suzuki wanted to drive across the road before the light turned red. That might have been his reason to see the light as being yellow. His wife worried about his driving. It might have been the reason why she saw the light as being red. The simple matter of judging color would be influenced by our emotion and thinking.

The above explains differences in people. There are people who are constantly sad, unhappy, and fearful of occurrences in their lives. Others are always resentful, angry, and upset about their experiences. In contrast, there are people who are fearless, brave, and positive even in an adverse environment. There are others who are even pleased, happy, and ambitious to face challenges. Even if one experienced happy occasions, if the person did not have a happy attitude, they would not be happy. Happiness cannot be brought to you, if you are not prepared to be happy. If one has an expectation to be unhappy, they would become unhappy.

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