“Have you thought about what it means to be a god?” asked the man. He had a beard and a baseball cap. “It means you give up your mortal existence to become a meme: something that lives forever in people’s minds, like the tune of a nursery rhyme. It means that everyone gets to re-create you in their own minds. You barely have your own identity any more. Instead, you’re a thousand aspects of what people need you to be. And everyone wants something different from you. Nothing is fixed, nothing is stable.” Neil Gaiman, American Gods
“A very single fact could emerge into many versions of truth,
depends on the number of eyewitnesses and interpretations.” Toba Beta
“The word of God came down to man as rain to soil, and the result was mud, not clear water.” Kim Stanley Robinson
We might interpret the smallest atom in a far different way in your review, versus my review. Clearly, most of us have not come to terms with the enormous amount of differences of opinion on every available subject. Some of us are supercritical, and judge with eagle eyes. It is our job to find mistakes. Others like to slip things by stretching the norms a bit. I suppose that is where most of our questions find themselves in jeopardy.
Perhaps the clearest folly is when there is nothing apparent, yet we find an error which is fabricated within our minds. I don’t believe we deliberately accuse an innocent person. I think we can’t witness and admit honesty in any kind or form. We search for the failure, believing it is there, just not yet discovered. There is a lot of time wasted on useless observing, of innocent facts and people. Many times our distrust may cause a relationship of one kind or another to falter. We may also ruin the innocent start of a new connection, because of our constant digging and assessment of the facts.
I wonder if they have trained us to disbelieve until proven correct. Even the most liberal among us has problems believing in something that appears to be too good to be true. We have become cynical. You have to wonder if it is because of our society’s lack of honesty? Or have most of us been duped so many times by family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and strangers, that we won’t immediately warm up to the most sincere person we meet.
We quickly challenge the store clerk, co-worker, family and friend, yet we can be fooled by the spouse which renders us defeated and mystified. I would guess that if our family, friends and co-workers are cheating or lying to us, it is not a far cry to fathom our spouse might do the same. Now the saddest happening is the transformation of the person who gets back up on their feet, after having been hurt. It taints them from trusting anyone. That results from the deception.
With so much deception going around, I wonder if that is why we are so negative in our interpretation of others. We are obviously quicker to believe the person meant us harm, rather than believing they had our best interest at heart. It makes sense that the more you suffer deceit, at the hands of those you love, the more guarded you become, especially at the hands of strangers. I still believe it is a tragic situation, to always weigh in on the negative side.
I recall one daughter-in-law buying her mother-in-law a bread maker. The mother-in-law loved homemade bread but hated to cook. The daughter-in-law thought it would be nice if her mother-in-law got to have bread as often as she wanted, rather than just when she got invited to dinner at her son’s house. Of course you would think the mother-in-law would have been overjoyed at the present. She was anything but. She thought her daughter-in-law was attempting to give her the brush-off from the invites to dinner. That was clearly not at all part of the thinking, on the daughter-in-law’s repertoire.
It took some time before the issue got resolved, and the relationship was back on track. When the mother-in-law explained how she felt about the gift, her daughter-in-law explained her reasoning about the gift. Both women laughed but learned a lifelong lesson. We never really understand why others construe things the way they do. As much as we believe we are helping, it might surprise us to discover we have actually hurt someone, with no intentions of doing so.
Another woman was insulted at the house gifts her daughter-in-law gave to her. The woman treasured and craved a less expensive gift, that she could wear, instead of the kitchen utensil that would have eased her time. It took years before she finally let out the actual truth one day, mostly because of her hurt and anger. The daughter-in-law loved the latest gadgets, and she believed she was helping her mother-in-law to be up to date with technology. The mother-in-law realized her daughter-in-law was not the uncaring person, she thought. Her daughter-in-law had actually put a lot of thinking into her gifts. Both women were dismayed at the total misunderstanding of the situation.
One daughter-in-law was disgusted at her mother-in-law’s nature gifts. Although she admitted she admired all the plants given to her, when she happily placed them in her garden. The daughter-in-law still clung to the belief that a gift was to be an indulgence for her. She did not relish another plant. She was not an outside person. Regardless of the cost, she refused to manage any more flowers . After a few years, and many hints, a request from the son to his mother was made. After that, the mother-in-law began buying more personal items for her daughter-in-law, on any occasion.
On the surface, these stories may appear harmless enough, but in reality they were painful, and long enduring for the women involved. The women compiled years of resentment and frustration. They even believed they gave the disliked gifts on purpose, to cause them misery. In the first place, these women were not totally trusting, because if they had been, they might have been able to accept the gifts in good faith and move on.
The same can happen with words. One person asks for the truth regarding an item of clothing. When they get the actual answer, and they don’t like it, resentment enters the relationship. We must realize if we want honesty, we must receive all answers. Even if we don’t like an answer, we understand that what we believe can differ greatly from what another thinks. Trusting ourselves first is perhaps the best solution.
I remember a time at a party at my daughter’s house. I forgot something and be facing another woman at the party. I frowned as she was finishing up with a story, and she reasoned I was not agreeing with her when she witnessed my frown. As much as I attempted to explain, she wouldn’t listen. My mind had been on other things and not her conversation. To this day, she likely believes that I didn’t like what she said. I can’t take the incident back, and I can’t get her to have faith in me. All any of us can do, is trust that others have confidence in our honesty.
The way we analyze other people is frightening. More so because if we are not always tuned into what they are saying or doing, we have set the stage for a confrontation. Maybe the social media makes it easier for all of us to get along. I don’t regard the media as an honest elucidation, due to the fact that the senses are not more involved. We see words on a page. In a way it takes no courage to print a quick message. It requires no thinking, no facial expression, and a complete disregard of the tone of our voices.
I do participate within the media but I love the human interactions the best. Someone that speaks the correct words, that you want to hear, but expresses a bit of a doubt on their faces, has rendered you some help at times. You have the kindness of their hearts backing you up, and the honesty of their look, which tells you to do something else. There is comfort with a bit of assurance tucked inside. Nobody likes to intentionally hurt another individual. There are times that call for veracity, if one is to make a correct decision. It may require us to leap out of our comfort zone, but when we love and want the best for another, we make the effort.
Interpretations are not reality. They are not truthful nor anything that can hold water. They are misguided understanding, resulting from many uncontrolled conditions. There are times when our own reliance may be off kilter. We might be best to take what we can, from the hints derived from our interactions with others. Wait for a sunnier day to take another look, before making any decisions. Life almost needs to be viewed, in the way a spider sees the world through his many eyes. There is so much to reflect on, and so many views to interpret. We might find we are both correct in our analysis, yet find our conclusions dissimilar. Life is similar to looking through a crystal glass. We all see different versions of the world. We also focus our attention on a variety of items. Nothing is exact, so relying on a clarification might be helpful to us all.
“The context in which a photograph is seen affects the meaning the viewer draws from it.” Stephan Shore
“There is no such thing as objectivity. We are all just interpreting signals from the universe and trying to make sense of them. Dim, shaky, weak, static-y little signals that only hint at the complexity of a universe we cannot begin to understand.” Bones
“Change your thinking, your interpretation of he world, change the way you see! To change the way you see is to change the world.” Lean-Yves Leloup
“Every man, it seems, interprets the world in the light of his habits and desires”
“The meaning of life is not a search—it is a choice. Meaning is not found in things; meaning is what you make of things. The world means nothing by itself. You give it all the meaning it has. Thus, the meaning of life is a choice you make, not just once, but every waking hour of your day. Life is like art—it is all about interpretation. The moment anything happens to you, you interpret a meaning for it. The meaning you vote for then governs your perception, your thinking, your faith, your choices, your feelings, your behaviors, everything! Whenever you elect a new meaning, this changes everything.” Robert Holden
“Words never change. What changes is how one interprets them.” Marty Rubin