Growing up I used to think that other people knew things I didn’t know. As I have aged I have come to the conclusion that I was right. The things they knew were things that came from not knowing other things… the things I knew. Because I knew the things I knew, I could never know the things they knew, nor could they ever know the the things I knew, because our childhood was over, and nothing can substitute for the experiences during the formative years. The cards had been dealt, the thing we had in common was that we had to play the hand we had been dealt.
I came to accept that it was not possible for me to know the things that other people know. I consider it hubris, and ignorance, to think that one can acquire through any “after-the-fact” analysis, the complexity of a lived experience. I am surprised at how many people demand to know the things I know, without having to have the experience. It doesn’t work like that. A person is only a tourist in another person’s lived experience. One can be compassionate, empathetic, kind, and supportive, but they will never really be able to grasp in all its complexity, the experience of another human being.
I respect what I don’t, and cannot, understand, which is another person’s experience.
My hand has been very hard work to play. There has been no time for whining, or feeling sorry for myself; that is a luxury not afforded by the hand I play. When I express my feelings, my thoughts, it is about optimizing my chances of survival. The survival of my integrity, my heart, my soul, and my body. I refuse to give up expressing myself for the sake of making less self-disciplined people, or people who received more advantageous cards from the dealer, or people who spend their lives pretending that all hands are dealt equally, or people who are predators waiting for any chance to use their advantages to take more than their fare share of resources, more comfortable. Their comfort is not my primary concern. My comfort is not their primary concern. Their comfort does not trump my comfort, nor do I expect mine to trump theirs. On a personal level, it is a balanced equation. On a social level the card game is not dealt with integrity; I believe that the universe seeks balance, and will have it.
The universe can play the long game, humans cannot.
Date: 10:00 AM EDT Wednesday 31 August 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Wind: SW 16 km/h
“While the fates permit, live happily; life speeds on with hurried step, and with winged days the wheel of the headlong year is turned.”
5 BC – 65 AD
“There are so many men, all endlessly attempting to sweep me off my feet. And there is one of you, trying just the opposite. Making sure my feet are firm beneath me, lest I fall.”
These two little videos brought tears to my eyes. Durr is hinting at the way I see the universe, I fell less alone.
Whenever you write a blog such as this one, I always wonder and wonder whatever made you write it? What happened? Or is it just a topic you’ve mulled over for a long while and thought it was time it came out? I always think it was me who may have done something to make you write it, but that’s silly – right?
Aside to Bex–I bet it was FaceBook. 😉
Maggie, you are right. That’s part of why I haven’t said much in response to your grief and your family’s grief with the passing of your brother. If I had had–and lost–a brother, I’d at least have my own experience to perhaps have some sort of idea what you’re experiencing, but as an only, it’s all a mystery to me. I cannot know what you know.
I’m hoping you’ll answer Bex’ query, at least to some extent.
I think I’m going to have to read this over several times. It’s not coming through completely, though I do get the part that people can never have the same whole experience that someone else has had. That has definitely stood out for me when I’ve written about things that happened with SD and her mom, and people come back in such a judgemental manner. And I find myself thinking how they think they know what was going on but I haven’t added in that X, Y, Z, and A, B, C also happened because the story would wind up just too convoluted. And so many times I’ve found myself justified in thinking/saying that they don’t understand because they haven’t lived it.
Bex, yes it is not likely I would ever write anything like this about you, or any of the people who read my blog.
It is good to remember that I do not share all of my past here on the blog, because a lot of my childhood experiences, and subsequent adult experiences, are not just my story, other people are involved. I don’t write specifics about people, I write about how I feel and think about what was happening around me and to me.
Also, I once had a high powered career in a very competitive environment where I met and interacted with many, many people who were not what I would consider balanced. These people were, and many still are, powerful, and exert influence on the day to day lives of many people.
So yes sweet Bex, it is silly to think that you could do something to make me write such an entry. ((hug))
Teri, I hope my reply to Bex has clarified the entry. I don’t think people have to understand something before offering compassion and kindness. “You had to be there”, can be a trite statement, but it can also be true in certain instances.
Wendy, you have offered genuine and heartfelt affirmation as a response to some of my posts, and it has always meant a lot to me, because I knew that when you have done so, it was from a position of recognition. I feel you respect the mysterious experiences of other people, and in that I feel a kinship with you.
Facebook, well yes, in a roundabout way Facebook can lead my thoughts to large scale conceptual musings. Following a shared Facebook story several weeks ago led me to Dr. Durr, and the videos on quantum mechanics are basically what inspired my entry. The connections of which he speaks are well known to me.
I hope whatever is being sucky now will be more than balanced by many good things that give you joy. Hugs!
Maggie, this post had a deep impact on me. It brings into sharp focus the reason we cannot judge anyone, or even say, “I understand.” It always amazes me that with so many humans in the world, each one of us has this unique, personal experience, that no one else can fully understand.
Joan, I think that just at the moment I am reassessing my known universe, having a look around inside myself, seeing where the cold winds blow through, and where the warm sun penetrates. Right now the cold winds are what I need most to address, as holes in my universe opened up when my brother passed away. Thanks for your kind wishes. Hugs!
It is amazing Diane, isn’t it, that we are each of us unique. I’ve always felt that people are like the stars, like snowflakes, each beautiful and majestic in their own unique way. What a privilege it is to be offered even a glimpse of another’s true self. To accept that we cannot understand is to accept the differences between us, and the legitimacy of every human experience. Although we cannot fully understand one another, we can fully accept and support one another; tolerate, celebrate and even dance together our differencesa, a skill that I believe allowed our species to survive.
Catching up, finally! You’d think I’ve been busy or something … and I must have, to fall behind your entries by several.
The dishwasher saga was exhausting, even just to read. A hell of a job. You two have got staying power, boy do you ever.
Glad you finally got some rain! Bet it was most welcome; nothing like green.
I’m just about to go to bed. Sat here to eat crackers first.
Kate, I can envision you sitting before the screen munching on crackers, makes me smile.
Yes, the dishwasher project ended up being more than just a simple install, as most retrofits are. i was just very grateful that we didn’t end up having to replace the kitchen cupboards and countertop, so it could have been worse. Eventually we will replace the cupboards and countertop, but that is quiet a way down the road.
It rained again yesterday to our delight. Green is wonderful to see, and it is surprising how it only took a few weeks for the landscape of brown to turn a vibrant green.
Well, we’re only making it up to 21C (70F), today. Hope you’ll be seeing something similar.
I listened to the Durr videos. I was taught much of the current accepted theories in university. I find, though, that I’m just too much of a pragmatist to take them very far. Okay, on observation the state of the observed changes. But that doesn’t mean much when I’m watching a ball roll down hill and am running to get it. I can still infer where the ball is going to go with a basic understanding of gravity and the terrain. Any changes that may have happened because I’m observing the ball are so miniscule that for all practical purposes they’re non-existent. (Yes, it may be different for quantum particles but pragmatically I’m not dealing with quantum particles, I’m just dealing with a ball.)
Yes, I know Durr goes beyond well-known theorems but my practical mind takes over and has problems with it all. I will say though that while I like the idea of ‘it’s banging all the time’ that his theory on the Big Bang doesn’t fit the current facts we believe we have with regard to the Big Bang, such as an echo of the sound from the Big Bang. There’s been no finding of multiple sounds from multiple Big Bangs.
I do think that your grandmother would have had problems with Durr’s belief that there is no God. At least not in the realm that he’s speaking of. (That’s not a serious comment on my part. More of a light joke/playful teasing, sent with a soft smile.)
Hmmm. Wanted to say that my comments are meant as part of a give and take in a pleasant conversation. I’ve found sometimes that for some reason something I’ve said is taken as an absolute, that I have spoken period, and I never mean things that way.
I see commentary as the beginning of a conversation between people that’s meant to be evolving, with the only exception being when we might come upon a conflict where we would have to agree to disagree. Which we can do and then move on to another topic.
The weather here today was perfect Teri! A high of about 23C, low humidity, sunshine… it doesn’t get any better than today.
On a practical level, people have been observing gravity, even measuring and working with it, with great success without any help from the theories of physics.
My Granny would know Durr was wrong about that, 🙂