Monday, October 10, 2005
So, this past week I had a few experiences that caused me to wonder about the integrity of people and humans' abilities to comprehend and share truth. One person decided to share with another individual and me a quality that one of my sisters possesses. I know for a fact that the person who was sharing the story has never seen my sister exhibiting this quality. I wondered how this person could share the quality with such an attitude of truth to it without ever having actually experiencing the exhibition of the quality... and I wondered where they had gotten their material to be able to speak about it in such a confident manner (especially around me!).
Later on, the other individual shared a story about another person that was intended to cause some sort of shock reaction out of all of us. However, it only caused me to wonder why this person felt that they could accurately share such a personal experience about someone else to create a point or to cause emotion in someone else. I was pretty bothered by this experience for a while. I think it bugged me mostly because it reeked of gossip, and I just didn't believe what they were telling me. Sure, there were probably parts of it that were true, but I felt that I was getting a distorted perspective of what actually happened. It really bothered me that there were distorted stories that were being passed on about other individuals. I know I wouldn't like it!
Earlier that week I had been to a class. The teacher was recapping a conference (Wahoo for realizing that I CAN make a link!). I had watched/listened to/was dozing off and relaxing during the same conference. The teacher attempted to tell one of the stories that had been told in the conference, only.... it was a different story than the one I had heard. It was the same story, but the details were... wrong. I think that this experience helped me to realize that when someone talks, people are probably hearing completely different things than others. In my life I have repeatedly noticed this to be true, especially in male/female relationships. I'm pretty sure that much of it is based one's own personal history that creates a different perspective than others'. I think that part of it is also due to the different aspects that different people are prone to notice. I'm a pretty detail-oriented person. Sometimes when people are reminiscing, I'll recall what outfit I was wearing at the time or that we had eaten tuna fish that day or something else completely irrelevant to most. Other people will generally remember different aspects of that event.
So... pretty much I've decided that it's okay. It's okay to have different perspectives and to be different. ...even though it causes me heartburn when stories get back to me that are about me and are completely distorted and twisted. It mostly just made me recommit to myself that I shouldn't tell stories about other people. We all have different feelings, different experiences, different personalities, and different times when we presume or jump to conclusions. That's too bad, and isn't that great? My historical presumption is that this is one of the reasons some stories became known as tall tales. Thanks for reading...