Perception is Reality

Perception is Reality

Written by Robert D. Sollars

I’ve used this phrase for more than 30 years at this point. A lot of people have difficulty in understanding exactly what it means, especially as it applies to workplace & school violence (WPV/SV). Adding to that is that to everyone, media, law enforcement, and regular people alike, out there, it is said to be senseless violence. It’s a question that is easily answered and ignored by nearly everyone. the answer. Despite what they will or have argued in court, it makes complete and total sense to the shooters.

Yes, it makes complete and total sense…to the perpetrator of such events. There are also very, very few people out there that it makes sense to them if they can understand the behaviors behind the perpetrator. The exact reasoning for why it makes sense? Look at the title.

Their perception of reality (their reality) is why they do these things (think of a dream sequence from 25 -and further back on TV). Like in any WPV/SV, domestic violence (DV), or an argument in a shopping mall or concert, The perpetrators have distorted their reality and begun thinking they were right in doing what they did. Whether that perception is logical or not, no one will know until the proverbial genie has been let out of the bottle by someone getting injured or killed. Many times, not to make excuses, they believe that they have been ‘dishonored’ or insulted by someone and therefore…

If their perceptions are distorted because of mental illness, blinding rage, or addiction, it is nearly impossible to dissuade them of it, because that is their reality. Think about motivating liberals or conservatives to change their minds even confronted with facts. Not enough people, worldwide, think of these facts that were the reality for millions;

  • The Jewish holocaust in WWII
  • The Crusader murders of thousands of Muslims during the ‘Holy Crusades’
  • The murder of thousands of Jews in the Dark ages because of inane excuses
  • The wife abuser who says “The bitch/slut had it coming”
  • The man who shoots and kills his boss because “the sum bitch didn’t like me and kept me down”
  • Or the teenager who says “I was bullied and they wouldn’t stop”


Does any of those sound familiar? I’m sure they do, because of media coverage of world leaders and others. They also sound familiar because we’ve heard it out of many perpetrators of WPV, SV, & DV. Not to mention those spouting their hate speech in the name of religion, race superiority, inequality, and other idiotic nonsense. And their reasoning for the violence? Their Perception is their Reality.

Please understand that all acts of violence make perfect sense to the perpetrator. From the drug dealer who robs and kills another, the gang banger who kills an innocent 6-year-old little girl for no reason other than she was flotsam or the robber who beats a clerk to death at a C-store. To normal people, it makes no sense.

Who does understand this violence and its occurrence? Not law enforcement (as we have seen), the media (who do nothing but add to the hysteria by interviewing bawling blubbering witnesses…constantly, ignoring the solutions…because it doesn’t sell and doesn’t fill their ideological temperament), and to the employees/customers/kids who were scared out of their wits and possibly be traumatized for months or years, and anyone who refuses to see the vulnerabilities in our security systems and their own sensibilities.

People who are mentally ill have an excuse for their perceptions being warped. 99% of them, know something is wrong and seek treatment. Perpetrators who commit these crimes of WPV, SV, or DV have a truly warped view of the world and their perception of reality. The key is that to the perpetrators of these mass shootings it made perfect sense, and supposedly ‘just snapped’.

If you look at nearly every fatal incident of WPV over the past 30 years, the perpetrators had a perception of the world that wasn’t connected to our reality. But literally, no one could dissuade them of their perception. Whether that perception is of persecution, stalking, racism, or bullying it was there, and in their mind, it was perfectly acceptable to do what they did to stop the one perpetrating it on them.

So are incidents of WPV, SV, and DV senseless acts? To most of us perhaps. To the perpetrators, it makes perfect sense to ‘punish’ others and/or take them with them when they went out. Did they have remorse after killing and wounding innumerable innocents? Some committed suicide, 43%, so we’ll never know. Those who survived, for the most part, didn’t… “They deserved it”.

For it to be senseless than they literally have to mentally snap and that is as rare as a 3-dollar bill. Unfortunately, there are always warning signs that can be seen and possibly avoid a fatality. Will most people see them? Not a chance…they would rather go on with their perception of reality that the world is all ice cream cones, with sprinkles, and the sun is always shining even during a thunderstorm! They ignore the signs, intuition, and other items that make it so clear-cut…until later when it’s all looked at logically. Then it becomes senseless and once more we delude ourselves with that phrase.

Your perception is your reality. Is it warped? YOU are the only one that can answer. I see these things and can logically file them away in my brain and still have fun with fiction writing, friends, etc. There is no excuse for you not noticing and reporting, the perception that something is wrong. It’s your perception that you’re a snitch, busybody, or whatever that gets people killed!

Like these blogs? Then please feel free to pass them along, with proper attribution,  to friends, colleagues, or anyone who may benefit, with proper attribution. Have them subscribe to my website: Sollars Violence Prevention Training & Consulting

It happens to Anyone…Any Time…Anywhere… For any Reason

I May Be Blind, but My Vision Is Crystal Clear

Copyright 2022 Robert D. Sollars

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