Tag - #communication

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Why do we forget the bad…
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Can you help find a balance between ME and WE?
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The Curse of Our Thumbs

Why do we forget the bad…

selfie

The human affliction is an amazing thing.   I am not sure why, but our past either is demon from one the seven levels of hell or it was the most epic event ever.  Is it not possible to just remember a picnic as a place where you had some food?  Was it really a chance meeting with Robert Plant during a whiffle ball tournament while wearing a burka.  I want to know if any of us had a regular up bringing?  I want to know why we generally forget the bad and look fondly at history stripping away the reality?

Part I: That wasn’t so bad…

The blog is going to be multi-part.  I struggle with the key points because there is so much material here.  So for now, “take a bad song and make it better” goes first.

I talked to a friend the other day who had a rough experience.  A trip that was supposed to help drive business, re-connect with people, and explore life ended up being a let down.  The seminar was not epic, friends that should have re-connected were human after all, and the social events were too much chaos.  Early poll results showed a disappointed voter base on many fronts.  Weeks later there was new energy that came from memories, came from new information, came from getting a better understanding of the soul.  The point is why, or how does time twist memories?  Do we need to defend our fragile ego or maybe we have a need to explain things in a format that matches our expectation?

The checklist

Everyone has their own mental checklist:

Old boyfriend – he was a psycho but we had fun times

Old girlfriend – she stole all of my best vinyl but she was a great lover

First apartment – the heat didn’t work but damn did we live large

Even that little stock picture of photo shopped attractive kids shows it.  The women probably hate that dude, he probably hit on both of them and mooched off of them.  But they will look at that stupid selfie one day and ask “what ever happened to Zippy Johnson, he was so fun”.

I bet you a run through your photo albums would make my point.

A rough version of a conclusion

I think that idea is universal.  We need to survive, justify, grow, learn, advance and protect ourselves.

A number of studies were cited in an article by the BBC News regarding this topic.  The article titled, Why good memories are less likely to fade, discusses at length the human mechanism that helps us survive.

Dr Tim Dalgleish, a clinical psychologist from the University of Cambridge, tries to help those with serious depression to access positive memories.   People need good memories and will often go to great lengths to manufacture them.

I am certain there is always clarity that comes with time.  The saying goes something like time heals all wounds.  Tell that to the guy mauled by a bear.  We look back at the process and find that one little gem that popped out of seminar was germane to a current event.  We pick out the memory tied to endorphins released by laughter.  Your right brain has battled to find an answer and there it was the entire time, in the wee recesses of your bad memory.  The emotional connection is tied to everything.  Not so manly to talk about the emotional part (which is a lie – emotions are insanely sexy and manly).  We strip away facts and remember the way we felt, or even wish we felt.

I suppose if you are a pre-disposed optimist this process is inevitable.  You look for the good and try to grow from it.  I don’t know a lot of pessimists, maybe I am surrounded by them, but,  ironically my optimism has reframed them  as positive people in my mind.  I surmise many of those people will likely fixate on the crappy stuff.  I am not writing to them, they would not be able to see past my rambling writing style, it pisses them off.

I know this is one small example but it does intrigue me.  I am glad for this example because it gives me hope that we can become better people.  I usually write to men.  I have been told that I need to include women.  We all know that all of my writing includes women.  I am technically writing to men, but most women want men to be better people.  I am guessing that most women want to understand men better too.  Ladies, you are welcome.  I won’t tell anyone if you are reading this, you are still right, and we are still wrong.  I think that is probably a falsehood too but that is also another topic.   We will delve into a  discussion on people who see every event as a bad memory.  I am not too excited about that since I don’t have a frame of reference and I am naive.  So in the mean time… Let’s Go!

 

 

Can you help find a balance between ME and WE?

Balance

Life is a Balancing Act

So, I have this amazing conundrum in my life.  We all deal with it on a variety of levels and we all see it in other people, but tend to ignore it in our own world.  The issue is the delicate balance between what we want and our responsibility to others.  This is universal dilemma.  We want kids and want to give our lives to them, but at what cost?  We get married and approach things as a team, where does the “I” fit in the world of  “we”?  We pay taxes for roads but hate to pay taxes.  You get the idea.  What about me?!   It seems the older we get, the less in touch with ourselves we become.  Society gets in the way.

“Dude, you are just being selfish.”

When you’re an adult, you have to drop the selfish kid act.  It’s just too simplistic when you just look to meet needs, focus on what feels good, and all that crap; the greater good and what not.  I agree with this, to a degree.  Part of the premise of a society, or a relationship, is group values and group benefits as a method to make life better.

Maybe we need to make a society with benefits.  The benefits part should be pleasurable, right?  I am glad for fire trucks and roads, god bless society, but have we lost something?  Have we lost the benefits?  What would they be?

“Dude, you have needs just like anyone else.”

When you become a “mature” adult you don’t lose your sex drive, you don’t lose your dreams, you don’t lose that dudeness that makes you unique.  So how can a society exist without individuals who fill a variety of roles and have goals and dreams?  A stained glass window has thousands of little glass nubs that each have an individual role.  The entire window is amazing.  Without the parts there is no window, while the parts have limited value without the whole.  I’m rambling.  Society has rules that make the window keep out the elements while beautifully refracting sunlight.  I hate all the rules.

“Dude, you are the biggest rule follower I know.”

I confess.  My entire life I have been a rule follower to a fault.  But now, in my 40s, I suddenly find myself faced with a strange sort of bucket list.  I want to get in a fight, get a tattoo, express road rage, and even order food not on the menu.  I don’t believe this is simply a midlife phase.  I think it is a repressed part of me that has always been there.  I realize that I will probably never get a tattoo (I have discovered they are made with needles, and that is just plain stupid).   But maybe I can cross a few other, less painful, badass things off my list.

There is core need for expression that humans have, that humans need to express.  It is there for all of us, we just deal with it in different time frames and on different levels.  Don’t tell me you don’t have a little part of you that would move to Aruba under an assumed name and start over if you could pull it off.  This is what I speak of.

Back to the original point.  Damn.  How do you find balance?

I don’t have an answer  to this, quite frankly.  I wish I did.  My research has shown that republicans will blame Obama.  Democrats will cite my lack of compassion.  NRA guys will recommend that I buy a gun and ignore all other amendments.  Artistic types will offer expression as an escape.  That is the core of my blog: blend this shit,  add a pinch of who knows, and eventually find the truth.

I doubt the comment section will add insight.  Let’s be honest, people.  Most comments are a combination of ignorance and safely anonymous vitriol.  Go ahead and comment.  Prove me wrong.  I dare you.

So, back to the point.  I am going to go to school, study legitimate resources (don’t be shocked… not Facebook or the omnipresent Google) and try to find that elusive truth.  I have come to the conclusion that educated folks seem to help more that opinionated folks.  Perhaps a book, perhaps a blog.  Maybe a beer with strangers?

I will keep y’all posted on what transpires.  Psst…. Let’s go!

The Curse of Our Thumbs

opposable thumbs - good or bad?

The Curse of Our Thumbs

A giant evolutionary step in humans becoming the dominant species on the earth really has to be the opposable thumb (I say that with a wink and a nod to those who think there was no such thing as evolution).  For the sake of this little ditty, let’s agree it was an evolutionary thing.  I think we need to pare out some grand themes, it is a blog not a treatise on the evolution of man.

Save the comments.  I know there are many things that could be the defining moment.  For example,  fire and the wheel are arguments that could be pointed my way.  I love fire, it cooks my food and warms the cockles of my heart.  The wheel, what can a guy say?  I love my car, so I assume we can all be thankful for those two big steps.  I am certain that had Grog had no thumb, he makes no wheel (Boom! – Trump card).  Our thumbs open doors, literally.  Grog sports a flipper or a gnarled claw and we are a footnote in a journal written by alien archaeologists as they visit a planet with no intelligent life.

There are people, like Roger Waters, who is not a fan of our evolution.

“Then some damn fool invents the wheel –  Listen to the whitewalls squeal –  You spend all day looking for a parking spot – Nothing for the heart, nothing for the pot.”  — Roger Waters (from the song Me or Him on RADIO K.A.O.S.).

I would guess that there is probably someone out there who hates fire.  Ice man?  Maybe Smokey the Bear?  I don’t know it is hard to picture a real human who does not benefit from being warm.  Dang, I am rambling again… but I was looking for a reason to quote Roger.

My point is this:  Our supposed greatest physical asset has become one of our greatest enemies.  Yes, we can still open doors, build fires, and make tires, all thanks to Mr. Thumb.  That said, I also must scold our flexible digit because he has stunted us in our emotional growth and intellectual growth.  I think it is fair to say the thumb has become self-aware.

Our thumb is why don’t we talk anymore.   Seriously… We don’t have to!  Our thumbs are in cahoots with the cell phone companies that have dumbed us down to WTF, LOL, LMFAO and MUSE (OK… I made that one up).  A cool thing about talking is inflection.  Other things that I thoroughly enjoy are sarcasm, compassion, pace, timbre, poetic license, and just good ol’ slang.  The thumb is inflectionless, has no sense of humor, doesn’t give more than grunts and pokes.  It’s in direct opposition with so many of life’s simple pleasures.

Please understand that I love my thumb.  This is source of great conflict that only my mother, my therapist, and god understand.  Had I been born a few decades ago we would have hitch hiked across America.  I was raised on The Fonz who, if we are not too cool to admit, moved the thumb back into our collective conscience.  Yes, the thumb told the lions to finish off gladiators and the thumb let us know if the movie was going to be good (or at least artsy).  From that standpoint I am certain that the thumb has done me a solid.  But now… oh lord… now the thumb has forsaken me.  I will see you later becomes a vague reference to Saved By The Bell and now my friend thinks they will see Slater later.  Spell check and typos have teamed up with blunt words to make me look like an ass.  There I said it.

While our thumbs don’t totally suck, I believe they have ruined our front-brains.  We can still fight, forage for food, rut, and cry like a baby when that fight gets us punched in the face but we cannot clearly elucidate a point regarding love.  We cannot affirm our fellow man, we can barely arrange place to meet when we sell some crap on Craigslist.

But it’s not hopeless.  It is not too late to reclaim our relationships, let our other fingers do some of the work, and even, dare I say, use our mouths.  Let’s talk, grab some coffee and remind our thumbs of their place.  To quote the Fonz, Aaayyyy.

Let’s Go!

SIDE NOTE:  No real thumbs are quoted here to protect the innocent.

“hey just checking if we are going out tonight” — The Thumb
“why r u bailing on me” — some alleged friend’s thumb
“no I have to stop somewhere and wanted to check on your schedule” — first thumb
“Oh, I see I am just an event on the schedule DON’T BOTHER” — second overly-sensitive odd thumb

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