Friday, November 19, 2010
Inferior and Superior People Prt. 4
Part 4 of our ongoing review of my debate about Gauging Inferior and Superior People:
Paraphrased: We don't need to be invited to assess one's negative or positive qualities.
My Response: I would say that we do need to be invited to *assess* those qualities, however. What our focus should be, what we should be assessing, is how we wish to respond to any observable quality displayed by another.
Our focus, however, should not be on the other--it is to be on ourselves. If our focus is "gauging" others, such as the title of this thread states, then our focus is not on ourselves, where it needs to be. Connecting with others, on a personal level, is based on how vulnerable we allow ourselves to be with them. How vulnerable we are comfortable with, depends on our own self-assessment and self-acceptance. And thusly, the extent of our own vulnerability will either be abused, or appreciated, depending on the other's ability to be vulnerable with us.
In either case, learning where another person is coming from can't be learned if we don't know where we are coming from. If we are coming from a position of "evaluation" or "gauging" another, then we are not coming from vulnerability and therefore, cannot expect another to make themselves vulnerable to us.
Paraphrased: Jesus taught appreciation of positives and awareness of negatives, as well as detachment. As in a car accident, it's important to know who's to blame and who isn't.
My Response: *Appreciation* and *awareness* are not the same as "interpreting" positives and negatives, however. Discerning between the positive and the negative also has its pitfalls. We see man steal bread (a negative) and interpret it as a sin. We see the same man take his child necessary food to continue living (a positive,) and we see the greater sin of a society that would allow a child to starve when bread is available. Without the second knowledge, however, our discernment is incomplete and our interpretation flawed.
Detachment, however, is a loaded word. I'm having difficulty finding meaningful ways in which detachment could be implemented, let alone how Jesus may have wanted us to use this tool of separation.
I agree that we can intuit much, once we begin to become attune to the 'vibes' or the 'body language' of others and have dedicated ourselves to the observation of others in an intelligent way for the sake of 'reading' those around us. However, I would caution that any such intuitiveness, to be free of false beliefs in our own superiority, must be tempered with the knowledge that we can rarely ever know another beyond the external manifestations of their interior.
Once we recognize that when it comes to interpreting another person, we will almost always be wrong if we attempt a deep evaluation on minimal information, no matter how adept we become at that interpretation, then we have cultivated the necessary humbleness within ourselves to avoid the pitfalls of 'judgement' and inflated superiority.
"God never gives you a burden you cannot bear." I believe that, and therefore, my questioning wasn't so much along the lines of "why me?" as it was: "What am I supposed to DO with this?"
I don't believe it's so much about blame--recognizing the "at-fault" entity in any given situation is VITAL to correctly interpreting cause and effect--but more about what we are to DO with said information.
For me, my personal experiences, engendered in me an obsessive desire to understand the people and the world around me. I believed that if I could understand why people did what they did, then I would be able to move 'past' all that happened. I learned very quickly that while I can trace the development of behaviors in a human being back through each life-altering instance in their life--I could never fully comprehend why one person turns out "normal" and another person becomes "deviant."
Therefore, I relinquished any thought I had of *control* over the world and instead, focused on what, in the end, is most important:
My impact on the world around me.