Did we hardly recognize this handsome devil? Albert Einstein, a German born theoretical physicist, developed the theory of relativity. His one of many quotes about that topic can be found at the beginning of the series. It reads:
“The measurements of time, space, and motion are relative to the location and movement of the observer—relativity…”
Known to the population as a crazy scientist – (he certainly looked the part sometimes), this believed ‘man with perhaps a bit of screws loose’ was responsible for coming up with the most innovative equations and theories. One of those theories was meant to condition these books from start to finish, and if understood, you will find that his quote was very beneficial when attempting to understand humans and the very meaning of life.
We can agree that sexism and racism are two major, major problems. It causes not only heartache which leads to bitterness amongst sects, but it also leads to division among genders and races as a whole. This is all due to perception which – as Death told Barry is “one word, but a word with much meaning”. I talked a lot about perception, the underlying precept within the theory of relativity, in the epilogue of part 2, but I will discuss it here further so that you may grasp the importance of it being stationed in the very front of part 1. It was put there specifically to condition you from the beginning to the end.
Perception as I was told is very powerful. I have come to agree with that, that perception is a very strong word that could enhance you in life or all the more outright destroy you and everything that you have aimed to become. Before I talk to you about how perception affected Barry’s story, I want to give a personal account of how perception could have potentially destroyed me.
As you remember from the first post, The Point, I discussed extensively within and with several others my years of experience at retail markets. I am not one to brag, but I have always been someone who was outside of the norm. Even still, the intellect I often prided myself on, I’m afraid to say, was intimidating. Due to how people perceived me, I was treated with disdain from my peers and superiors. I was even told from one superior that I was “too smart”. So, instead of enhancing me, harnessing my intelligence, I was put down in a position that was meant to weaken my intellect, and I was told from others who noted the mistreatment, that as long as I worked there, this is how it would be “no matter what I do”.
In the story, Barry, the avid leader of his company, the owner, was under similar scrutiny. As a highly intelligent man, his aptitude was under attack and his views and current outlook on life warranted curious eyes. With all of that going on around him: the slavery and persecution, the validated separatism, the questioning of his brainpower has caused there to be absolutely no way that he could move about in the shadows, though he did make a great effort doing so. Regardless, there was one individual who felt he had a grand understanding of what was going on, Thomas. His brother had a huge PERCEPTION of him because of what he was doing that went against their beliefs that they had shared for their entire lives; but as Einstein would agree, Thomas was on the outside looking in. Barry eventually grew to believe that people happened to do that a lot.
There were some instances in which it would seem that Thomas was trying to give Barry a chance to reform. Eventually both brothers grew to have a perception of one another. They both believed they were snakes.
Barry said in a heated discussion: “So why is it so hard for you to treat me equally, to give me the same respect that I gave you? What makes you so different? What makes you so BETTER than me?”
We always want to know why others think they are better. At that point, we are perceiving them, their strengths and weakness. At the end of the day, it is a hopeless struggle, because in one’s own eyes, he/she is correct in their thoughts. What then can we do? We can either go to war or keep the peace.
Barry expected Thomas to understand him for a change, and Thomas expected Barry to keep to the way things have always been. Does that not represent a loop?
In accordance to Einstein’s quote, depending on the location and movement of the observer, time will be affected, space will be affected, and motion will be affected. If you are not directly involved in a situation then that means you will never understand–maybe. You will understand only if you lose the battle.
So how then can we be judgmental, and why did that judgment during slavery to even today last for so long? People have always wondered this. I, myself, too, wonder why people, who have no knowledge of how a situation, for example – interracial coupling, came about, are the very ones to have so much to say.
All in all, there was a level of beauty in Barry’s relationship with his slave, because he began to perceive things differently.