My grandson, picks up my iPad and uses it to hammer the pegs in his toy pegboard.  Should I be angry with him?  No, to him it is a hammering device; to me it is my beloved iPad.

A student doesn’t turn in an assignment in a timely fashion; I see it has a lazy and irresponsible act.  He sees that a greater priority is fixing supper, doing laundry and taking care of his siblings while his mom is at work.

I see an administrator not standing up for his subordinates as an act of cowardice and self serving.  He sees it as guaranteeing that he has a job to support his family.

A politician votes in a way that is contradictory to the needs of his constituents.  He sees it as staying in office so he can continue to serve in the future.

The first step in problem solving is not to look at the facts, but rather at the perceptions of the parties, whether individuals or governments.  If you look at the current problem with Russia annexing Crimea, not from the so called facts, but rather from the perception of the Russian government; you may be able to resolve the issue.  Their apparent perception is that the buffer countries they have always had to protect themselves from the west are disappearing leaving them exposed.

Next time we look at the effect of perception in that most personal relationship: man and woman.