A Bisl Torah

Lack of Perception

When I turned 16 years old, I went to take my driver’s license test. I remember getting into the car, feeling more than confident listening to the instructor explain the directions. About ten minutes into the test, the instructor directed me back to the DMV. I couldn’t contain my smile. I knew that we were probably ending the test early because I passed with flying colors. Who needed an extra 20 minutes of an exam if the instructor already knew how well I did? We reached the parking lot, I turned off the car and he said, “Automatic fail. You cut off an entire lane of cars. Next time, take a wider look.”

As heartbroken as I was to fail my driver’s test, I was even more confused by my lack of perception. Not once did it occur to me that I made a mistake. Sure, oversaturated hubris filled my teenage brain. But I was still shaken that it was that difficult for me to see the difference between something acceptable and dangerous. At the time, I didn’t see how damaging my actions could have been. My awareness and sensitivity were completely skewed.

Often, we are held captive by the container of wanting to be right. Determined that we have passed a test with flying colors, holding firm to our opinion, direction, or side of the story. It is hard admitting that our perception might be slightly off. Being open to understanding someone else’s point of view does not mean giving up our own convictions. Rather, it is seeing the cars trapped in a blind spot.

Which side of an argument or story is trapped in our blind spot?

Deuteronomy reminds us, “Hidden things belong to God, but that which is revealed, that is for us to approach with Torah.” Meaning, we must seek and understand far beyond what is set before us. A willingness to expand our scope of understanding may be our greatest gift.
Check your blind spot. Be open to what you might see; be considerate of what you might learn.

Shabbat Shalom

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