Perceptions are slippery things. The trouble with a perception is that it has more in common with feeling and intuition than it has to do with logic and reason.
I absorb a lot of stuff - from radio, the internet, blogs, television, newspapers and most important of all - from real life human beings. All this stuff affects the way I perceive the world but I have no real way of knowing if my perceptions are built on solid ground or upon the shifting, unstable sands of bias.
This preamble leads me to revealing the following perceptions. I believe the world to be a crazier place than it was twenty years ago. I think it is a world in which the gap between the rich and poor has become a yawning chasm. The movement of people that was once a manageable slow-moving conveyor belt has become a series of gushing floods that our elected leaders seem powerless to control. I think it is harder to be young than it was when I was young. I think there is more anger in the world, less altruism and more focus on the pursuit of money than there used to be. I perceive the growing impact of religious fundamentalism to be a scary and divisive phenomenon. I see The American Dream shrinking away.
You might say that it was ever thus - that evolution and change never stop. But it is my perception that the world has lost its way somehow. There's fracking in national parks. The Kardashians have become a kind of royalty. The Islamic State ruined much of Palmyra. The Brazil Olympics will go ahead in spite of the zika virus. Plastic waste washes up on the most remote islands. Vladimir Putin is pictured playing ice hockey while Donald Trump in a red baseball cap promises a mighty wall. Traditional English pubs are closing and people wander around glued to their smartphone screens like zombies.
Meanwhile "Remain" and "Leave" battle buses tour Britain, stuffed with lies and half-truths and grinning political egotrippers who have never lived as The European Union secretly plans to absorb Serbia. Serbia - I ask you.
Yes, it's my perception that the world has become a crazier, less happy place and I wonder where it's all leading. But I could be wrong. As Irish radio presenter Terry Wogan would often say, "Is it me?" What is your perception of it all ?