Tuesday, May 03, 2005

More thoughts about . . . me

OK – where was I? Oh, yes . . . yesterday I was ranting about the lack of intellectual discussion in my life.


See, part of the problem is that I am more of an observer than a participant. Not in life activities, per se . . . my daily schedule and number of hobbies is proof of that . . . but in interacting with groups of people. Because I think I sound pretty stupid. Because I am much better sounding in my thoughts than in my speech. Because I don’t want people to think I AM stupid. There are enough people who don’t know what they are talking about and I don’t want to add to the fray. Because if I keep my mouth shut, someone will eventually ask me what I think, usually at the end of a fracas, and by then I sound relatively reasonable by comparison. Because I’ve listened to what was being said and thought about it. But most discourse does not allow time for thought. Sometimes thinking is made out to be a negative attribute . . . because you have to take into account different sides of things. And people don’t want to hear it.


I’ve noticed that a lot of times, people ask a question and they already know the answer they want, or think they do. You can see it in the way they ask, and you can see it in their reaction to the responses. If you listen properly, you can hear what needs to be said back to them to give them the answer – it may not be the answer they wanted, but it may be the answer that works. But to do that, you have to respect the way that they are thinking – you have to understand their thought process and where they are coming from. People like it when you ask them follow-up questions, because then they know you’ve been paying attention. But then they also start to reveal more of the background of what the problem is, and sometimes you find that the problem is not what they said it was, but has to do with something that happened earlier. So the answer has to address the earlier incident AND the current problem. See, things are so complex! So I cannot see in black and white – I do not like giving the knee jerk response.


So what am I saying today? I don’t know. But it is a little insight into my little brain. And why I don’t comment places often. Because it takes me forever to think of a proper response – or what I think my response should look like. Because I don’t want to sound clueless. Because I want to be really helpful and contribute something useful to the discussion. Am I a snob? An elitist? I just don’t know . . . but all I know is I do try to be fair and empathetic and rational. And right now I’m not seeing a whole lot of fair and empathetic and rational out there.


And sometimes that hurts me deep down more than I can say.



justrose said...

this is really insightful. i identify with a lot of what you say.

Random Kath said...

Really? I thought it was another case of me sounding a bit brainless . . . I seem to be doubting a lot of what I think, and I can't figure out why. I feel like I should be making a huge decision - some sort of change - but I don't know what it is, and as a result everything I do seems to be in question. Does that make sense? I figure that you would sort of understand what I mean . . .

justrose said...

i don't understand it completely, but i get the feeling underneath it, that doesn't have words, and that i understand.