My Fellow Citizens

A Noted Look of Concern

A Noted Look of Concern

That was my initial perception of her seemingly involuntary expression. Was she really concerned about something? Who’s to say?

I am concerned about how our species goes about perceiving this world. I’m curious to know what others see. Do they see this face as I have seen it or do they have a different take? What is their take? How do they see the world we share? How do others see me?

There are two psychology arguments regarding our ability to read faces. One is that the ability to recognize emotions through facial expression is a universal human trait (it’s also recognized as an ability of some other animal species). The other is that it isn’t, and that emotions are recognized by social standards that are accepted.

In other words, in consideration of that latter case, where I have seen concern someone else may see indifference due to the person merely daydreaming about something that really isn’t problematic in any way.

My mental interpretation could just as easily be a result of my mind seeing what it wants to see. If so, it begs the question; why would I want to see someone looking concerned?

Where this would not be an issue for some, I’m struck fearful of becoming insensitive to the feelings of my fellow human being. I want to ensure that I will not be callous to the needs of others. Isn’t this important to improving the standards of any large or small community?

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10 thoughts on “My Fellow Citizens

  1. You’re funny and I like your thinking.
    But it is a difficult question where you can write a thesis to answer.
    I feel I can not control my facial expressions when I get angry, even though I do not want to show that I’m angry. ETC.
    The actors must be easier to control, and psychopaths.
    The rest of us are a bit what we are.
    I like your minimalist portrait that raises a lot of questions. Incredibly beautyfull photo.

  2. Everyday, we all have a mask on. I have learned never to assume, but I maybe just talking like a pope. You feel people and an initial perception starts. Judgment is only human. I go back to the fact that nothing can be calculated, that nothing is a firm answer. We go with the flow, with whatever the situation dictates.

  3. Such a difficult one to judge . . .. I have photosensitivity and I can’t tell you how many times I have been told, by strangers, not to worry, everything will be ok! When the simple truth of the matter is the glare is bothering me and there’s not a pair of sunglasses big enough. Having said all that, I agree with you 100% on the importance of sensitivity within the community to the nuances of the human condition. You have captured a certain power of concern with your wonderful portrait Allan.

  4. You are probably right when you say it is “concern”. I am sorry but my impression was “loathing”. It is really hard to say, our faces can send a wrong picture sometimes as Patti said.

  5. You reach some interesting questions. I think – from many travels all over the world – it’s a combination of “universal” facial expression and some born out of the culture and social upbringing. I see concern in her face – and I see irritation. Nevertheless it’s a strong photo, beautifully lit from left/behind.

    • Yes, I can see how irritation could be a possible emotion expressed here. I think you’re probably right; that it’s a combination of universality and dissenting social impact on our minds.

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