Do you know there’s a scientific debate raging over the color blue? Does it exist, or is it the brain’s best guess, identifying wave particles beyond its observational scope? Consciousness evolved with questions natural selection never designed it to answer, making truth just beyond man’s Darwinian limits.
I’m inexplicably enamored with TV shows and moves that feature decidedly witty dialogue. That’s why, even though I hear he can be rather difficult in real life, Aaron Sorkin is one of the best in the business. He writes dialogue the way we wished we spoke and not the way that people actually speak. And I’m okay with it. He can create his own reality within his screenplays. And while the context and narrative are understandably vastly different, Dear White People draws me in for much the same reason.
Joelle Brooks, played by Ashley Blaine Featherson, is having a chat with main protagonist Samantha White while they’re out “for a jog.” (Aside: I’ve only recently come to realization that the actress who portrays Sam in Dear White People is Tessa Thompson. She was Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok. But I digress.) Sam is being slogged with Internet hate and her friend is trying to help her put things in perspective.
This is a topic I’ve approached before and it’s a topic I will likely approach again. We can never really be certain about the objective reality of the situation. We can only be certain about how we perceive it and how we decide to respond to it. As my buddy Hamlet so famously put it, “For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
So the world isn’t acting the way you thought it would. But we don’t see things the way they are. We see them the way we are.
Are you familiar with the concept of projection in psychology? Basically, we “project” our own thoughts and feelings and perceptions onto the world around us. You might see your therapist as anxious and judgmental, because you are anxious and judgmental. Angry people see the world as a dark and unforgiving place.
Thinking makes it so.
We wield tremendous power, as a result, because we can alter how we choose to see the world. And I don’t need to remind you what Uncle Ben told us about great power.