How Having Tetrachromacy Changed My Paradigm

I had my first experience with color blindness when I was 16. A boy I knew always got lime green and orchid purple mixed up. He genuinely saw purple as green and green as purple. Since that moment, I always wondered, is my red your red? Is my gray your gray? How will we ever know what the other person sees?

I’ve recently learned that I am different in a wonderful, amazing way. I have something called tetrachromacy. Basically, my rods and cones allow me to see colors that a normal human can’t. I finally have an explanation as to why I find immense beauty in everyday objects. Why others can’t see the vibrancy and contrast I see in nature. It also explains why I can never seem to find a foundation shade that matches my skin tone even though I’ve been color matched dozens of times.

So what does this have to do with life? How does the color blind boy fit in? What I’ve come to realize is we will never fully be able to see from somebody else’s perspective.

Everybody has gone through an infinite  number of experiences in life that shape who they are. We can listen and learn but no matter how hard we try to understand, we weren’t there. Even a sibling can’t say they’re been in your same body with your same brain. An example would be me and my siblings. You couldn’t find people more opposite than me if you tried! We each experienced similarities growing up in that our parents, houses and cities were the same. But we took our information given to us and processed it in a different way. That’s why we have vastly different tastes and personalities.

I’ve learned that people are shaped by their perception of their experiences and no two perceptions will ever be exactly the same.

I believe in my heart a lot of the prejudice and hatred prevalent today could be reversed if we just tried for a moment to see things from another perspective. If we think our view is the only view, the correct view, we miss out on what is really going on.

I understand that what you see is real. It’s real because you can see it. It’s so real that there can be no other way. My lime green shirt was definitely lime green until someone else looked at it and it was purple. Then I was forced to ask myself, who is right?

Until next time, I hope you can learn to see life in a different light. See colors from a different perspective.

Have a wonderful week.


Kristina bee


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