i was seventeen, hanging out with close friends at a certain special cabin, and having a discussion about, well, about all of everything. we had many of those discussions, when our minds were freer of stress, and we could explore possibilities without ridicule, or being told that we needed to ‘get back to reality’. reality, i understand what you are and mostly live within your confines, but question you daily. it is not so much questioning reality, as it is questioning the confines that humans have put themselves in. the brick walls we surround ourselves with, to feel safe, the lies we tell ourselves, or lies we believe, in order to join the herd, in order to feel understood. perhaps, it is just an agreed upon language, but i think the dictionary needs to be added to, rather than abridged.
why, when we step into the ‘question’ of ‘reality’, or as i said before, the reality that we have agreed upon – mostly talking about western societies, do we seem to think or say things like, ‘wow man, smoke another’, ‘oh, he’s young, he’ll grow up’ or ‘hey, you, get back to reality there is work to be done. things will never be like that. live in reality lebowski, the bums lost.’ i have to say i am really disappointed that many of the ‘friends’ i have on face book sound far too much like david huddleston’s character, from ‘the big lebowski’, these days.
back then, back when i was an age where it was more socially acceptable to sit in a circle and discuss anything, when we could say what we wanted without being told we are ‘out there’, i remember having a conversation about contradictions. i clearly remember declaring “i’m a walking contradiction”, and one of my friends having a difficult time with that. i believe, but can’t recall word-for-word, that i said that situations and people continue to change, views of the world are changed by people we meet and places we go, therefore, in order to be a growing and developing person, you have to be a contradiction, you have to contradict yourself through the years, heck sometimes i contradict myself in the same paragraph, but as much as i strive for facts and perfection in the world i see, i strive for questions, debate, conversation and lack of certainty in the ‘reality’ that i can’t ‘see’. that interests me. driven by fact in the world that is ‘our shared societal reality’, but want to bang off of every wall in the reality that has yet to be created, or exists, and i am not open to, yet. sorry, I had to say that again.
we seem so quick to judge and ‘get’ one another, unfortunately, not ‘get’ as understand, but ‘get’ as in ‘gotcha’. waiting, lurking, and finding our opportunity to say (the following should be read in a hurried tone, like giving directions to the mall, after six cups of espresso) ‘nope, that is not what you said two days ago, and how can you say this, if you did this and then did that, well, your whole idea is crap cause you said this then and this now and now you want to wear sandals to the beach and we all know what you really want to wear on your feet. heee heee heee hohoho and off you go and boy, didn’t i show that guy, he clearly hasn’t been ‘down’ since day one. i bet his mom was a republican democrat meat-eating dinosaur who gave birth in a hospital where there are real doctors.”. what? what? really? this is what we are reducing ourselves to?
contradictions and thinking are good. i know i shouldn’t feel the need to say that, and i’m probably right, but still, with all of the comments i see on social media sites, my own feelings, and timid choice of conversation and words with people other than close friends and family, i get sick, for ‘all that is’ sake, can we get off it. can we agree that thinking, changing our mind, exploring concepts, and contradicting ourselves is good – it is how we arrive at the proper decision, it is how we grow.
now, i do it too. i play the gotcha game. many times it is in the course of discussion about something not concrete, and it is mostly a logic thing, but i do it. i also do it with the kids. this is a tough one to get around.
“what is this on the wall?”
“i don’t know? i think h. did it”
“did what? how do you know that there is something on the wall?”
“cause you asked, what is on the wall?”
“but, you would have come and looked if you didn’t know what it was on the wall.”
a. comes in from the other room.
“oh, that? i didn’t do that.”
“but you are the one who had the blue crayon”
“no i didn’t”
“are you sure?”
“look under your bed”
a. sheepishly turns away and puts her head down.
i feel horrible.
we have all, i think, entered that line of questioning with our kids, the “you’re busted. when are you going to tell me?” line of questioning, and i am now thinking that it does more harm than good. not sure i’m going to stop, because sometimes it is fun, but in the long run, what are we teaching? instead of teaching direct communication, trust and respect by saying “hey a., quit coloring on the walls. i saw the blue crayon under your bed and your sister can’t make circles that well. i get that you’re four, but please don’t do that again. come help me clean it up.” we teach the ‘gotcha dance’ and it is really sadistic. when we say it directly, it isn’t a game. it isn’t a game that will continue into adulthood. it isn’t a way of approaching people, and view of thinking about the world, that creates more skepticism, fear, and hiding. really, when you are holding the cards, and ‘know’ ‘reality’ and are questioning someone about something you think you know, you are exerting your power. you are standing over someone, you are slowly tightening your grip and showing him or her who is boss. that is a poor way to live. not sure how i got from contradictions to here, but, here we are.
yes, people change their minds and contradict themselves for selfish reasons, but if they are changing their mind to a belief that is better for the whole (another discussion – who makes the judgement ‘what is better for the whole’), and it serves them as well, why does it matter. it’s like saying “i had that idea first and now you are doing it and acting like it’s yours. you shouldn’t do that, you should still hate my good idea and let me have it.” listen to that. sounds like we enjoy being divided. sounds like a nice way to make friends out of common enemies. i’m tired of writing about this. what do you think?
i may be out for a week or so. lots to do for the holidays. you may also get more posts like this one. i hope you all enjoy the holidays. change happens every year, every month, and every day – take the opportunity to recognize it and make something of it. if nothing is happening to you – you’re right. if everything happens to you – you’re wrong. and both can be answered the opposite way. whoa man.