Eye of the Beholder

My sweetheart just called and shared a great story with me about the power of perception and assumption.

He was driving on the highway near Austin, and was stuck in some slow-moving traffic. He saw a car on the side of the road up ahead. There were two police motorcycles flanking the car, and he thought they must have caught someone speeding.

Not so. As he got closer he saw that the car had a flat tire. One of the police officers was changing the tire on the car, while the other one was keeping an eye on the approaching traffic. Cynically, he thought to himself, “It must be an attractive woman if they’re changing her tire for her.”

He continued his approach, and saw that the driver was a woman, but not one that most would consider attractive; she was an older lady, overweight and poorly dressed. She was watching one officer change the tire and talking to the other one while he motioned to the oncoming traffic. My sweetheart’s assessment of the officers’ ulterior motives for changing the tire was proven wrong, and instead he was thinking, “Wow! I guess chivalry isn’t dead after all.”

As he was almost upon this scene, the officer changing the tire stood up: It was a woman! A female police officer was changing a tire for a distressed motorist. All of his assumptions were shattered.

Perception is a tricky thing. I guess more than beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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