01546: Monday Afternoon Pontificating

Words have powers - names most especially so. And yes, I will tap into my salvation history classes to cite the example of how the first thing Yahweh would do upon identifying a new patriarch was to give them a new name and thus exert ownership over the person. It's the same thing that Adam did by naming all the animals in Eden in order to exert dominion over them. So yeah, those many different Old Testament writers had some interesting ideas at work beyond the stories themselves.

A lot of people fall into the use of names and labels in order to put things in neat little categories that are easier to understand or perhaps respond to. It's the nature of the human experience - to assign meaning to things so that we can put it aside and say "I understand how this works" or something like that. But to some extent meaning works on a personal level - we have different nuances of meaning based on our personal experience that we assign to any term. And that's how things go in life in general.

Human interaction is often about trying to bridge the gap between your two different world views. You work on finding common ground where your different perspectives find common ground and thus you're able to communicate clearly and make sure you both walk away with a similar understanding of whatever was on the table.

Sometimes it just doesn't work. You're seeing things in different ways and maybe you're better off just moving on. You could keep pushing and keep trying to get the other side to see things your way or even to just find a compromise but in the end maybe it just won't work. And admittedly it's not always easy to figure out when exactly you reach that point.

I see couples argue all the time. I see the petty disputes and the weird exchanges on Facebook. When you consider yourself a friend, there is a natural tendency to want to reach out, try to help mediate or just offer your perspective on things in general in the hopes of helping them reach a decent resolution. But on the flip side, it is never really any of your business to interfere since their lives and their problems are not yours. If they don't ask for your advice or counsel, then there's no point in trying to butt in, unfortunately. We need to respect personal space and all that beeswax.

I admit that a lot of times I feel like I know a little better or at the very least that my perspective may be of value to other people. But time and time again over the years I've also learned that people don't like the feeling of being told what to do or having their mistakes pointed out to them. And thus I've sort of learned to rein myself in and just watch people continue on their respective paths and sincerely hope that things come out for the better.

Other times, all one can do is watch the inevitable train wreck and just make sure not to get caught in the maelstrom.