#Yanny or #Laurel: The Bigger Lesson is about Perception

It looks like the “dress debate” has gone audio this year.

But, the internet has been ablaze with people trying to figure out what it means if they hear #Laurel or #Yanny on a viral clip that is being shared all over social media.

I heard the clip and instantly heard, “Laurel” several times. I never considered for a minute that it could say, “Yanny” to me. When a show played the audio clip at various frequencies and played, what sounded lower to me, I suddenly heard “Yanny.” It is possible that I suddenly picked up on the higher frequencies.

According to Vox, the difference people hear in the words is based on a combination of frequency and perception. The distorted video sounds like “Yanny” to some who can pick up the higher frequencies. The article also suggests that once they thought they heard “Yanny” that they couldn’t switch the perception and hear “Laurel.”Ultimately, the word is supposed to be, “Laurel”

But, this whole debate made me think about perception and frequencies. It is quite possible that “Laurel” and “Yanny” could represent how we view what we consider positive and negative experiences.

What if “Yanny” is (for example) what we think we want or a positive experience? What if “Laurel” is (for example) what we think we don’t want or the negative experience? And, what if, like the audio, we are experiencing them overlapping at the same time? But, what we focus on is what we expect and that is the frequency we experience.

I thought about my life. In my life, I have had some very negative experiences. But, what if I have been using those few negative experiences to filter how I see all of the other experiences and any new experiences I encounter?  What if I am viewing situations while trying to see or hear what I think should be there and, meanwhile, there is another thing happening at the same so I really have a choice of how I want to experience or see it.

“Songs are as sad as the listener.”
― Jonathan Safran Foer

And, as I went back over the memories, I realized that many people have hurt me, but many people have also helped me for no reason. I realized that just as many (if not more) good experiences have happened along with the negative experiences. There were times where things didn’t work out, but there were also times when things just fell into place as if magically.  I was telling myself a story of a hard life and it didn’t fit into my story for me to also be loved, supported and everything else good that has occurred for my benefit.

So, in the end, it doesn’t really matter if we hear “Laurel” or “Yanny”. It matters what we tell ourselves about what it means to hear one or the other. And, that is a choice.

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
― W.B. Yeats

One thought on “#Yanny or #Laurel: The Bigger Lesson is about Perception

  1. I think you’ve touched on something that is so true in the present world, or should I say worlds. It seems like there is two, a higher and a lower one based on consciousness. Yanny and Laurel may be in two different worlds and our consciousness may be the dividing line. It’s how we choose to see life and the events within it that matters.


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