Humans survive based on our ability to perceive the world around us. Have you ever considered how differently we sense the world compared to those around us? Do we see the same color tree when we look outside? Dose fresh air smell the same to the person next to you? Is the air feel the same blowing across my skin as it does someone else? Just imagine the possibility of how different the world might seem to the people around us. Then consider the disorders that distort the perception of some people. Consider the physiological differences that change with age, environment, or lifestyle. The number of senses that a person has is debatable by science. I’m going to list a few and discuss those. Please allow this to open your mind to the value of our differences. I’ll ask us to think about sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch, intuition, and equilibrium.

Sight

What are the odds that we see the same exact colors? It has been discovered that some eyes are sensitive to different wavelengths of light. This means that two people seeing purple might a red version versus a blue version. Some people are completely color-blind, so couldn’t a little color-blindness exist in each of us? What are the odds that each shape or object is seen exactly the same way? Some people need glasses due to physical eye changes. Some people might have differences in the way the brain receives the stimuli. The point being that we could never be exactly sure what the person next to us sees exactly.

Smell

Have you ever been sitting next to a person and asked if they smell something you smell? Have you ever had a friend who hated the smell of something you enjoyed? Is that based on a difference of sensory nerves, transmission to the brain, or preference? We can see this in many instances where people can’t smell certain chemicals or odors. So we can conclude that we almost certainly don’t smell exactly the same smell as those around us. Fun fact: 80-90% of what we think we taste is actually based on smell, that’s why we can’t taste when we are congested.

Taste

It is all too common for people to differ in their taste for certain foods. Have you ever wondered if they taste the same food you do? Are there number of taste buds different, Does there brain sense it the same way, or is it personal preference of a similar taste? Based on the above fun fact, their sense of smell could play a pivotal role as well.

Hearing

We have seen a dog perk up when we don’t hear anything. None of us can hear a dog whistle. There was a ring tone at one time that students could supposedly hear but the teacher could not. It’s been shown that some people can hear higher pitch voices better than lower and vice versa. Some people are hard of hearing, while others are sensitive. Who can say for sure that a bird sounds the exact same to each of us? Who can be sure that we all don’t hear the world in completely different ways? Each of us may miss small pieces due to our different abilities.

Touch

I know many people who don’t like things due to texture. Who can say that an object feels the same to two people? How many nerve differences exist in people’s fingers? What are the odds that the brain distinguishes between the signals in the same way? Two people may both feel a rough surface but what is the variation of the roughness of that surface? Some people don’t like their hands to feel oily while others function without care. Is that a sensory difference or a preferential difference?

Intuition

How many times has a person’s intuition saved another person? One person had that gut feeling while the other didn’t. Was it a lack of intuition or a lack of sensitivity to that intuition? Who can say? Why is one person making money in stocks while another loses out? This may seem like an unconventional sense but it adds to the illustration of how differently people sense and react to the world around us.

Equilibrium

This goes to show people’s reaction to outside stimuli. How often do we see a person wearing a jacket while we have shorts on? Cars now come with duel temperature control. Why do some situations cause people to react wildly while the person next to them stays calm? Some people prefer to be outside while others stay indoors. Some people are likely to trip over their own feet while another has flawless balance. This list could go on but consider peoples comfort with the external stimulus of the earth.

Published by Thomas Hopkins