The sun sets on another day…
Sunset was, well, cloudy with a chance of good food. Winter in Michigan is often a series of days filled with clouds, and nights filled with a warm fire and view of glowing snow in the dark of the night.
I thought a lot about the postures and positions we take in life and as I did I was amazed at how mine have changed over time. I smiled at the fact that I used to be so tenacious that I would not back down from anything, and that my world was built on pure conflict. To face me as I was then would be to face relentless powerful pressures until there was little choice but concede or walk away disappointed. The discussions were good sometimes, but I learned little and in the process was less than who I should have been.
In the mid 80s this began to change. I found that winning wasn’t everything and instead wanted to learn. I coupled that with the communication skills I had learned and added in a little bit of extra patience and began listening more. I have found over time it is fine to have a position if you believe in it, but you need to know more each day and your position should grow with you. This is something many people can’t do. Many people are so lost in their interpretation of anything that they can’t see there are other perspectives, or are so against something or for something that they discount anything that denies their narrative. Often in my 30s I would listen to people engage and in the process add small items to learn their opinions only to review them later in my head and consider their validity.
I pretty much owe this shift to years of good discussion in a van wandering across the Midwest looking for computers to fix and people to interact with. My traveling partner became my friend and I was always impressed with his patience in understanding he was not always right, and that sometimes the world was a funny place. When a prominent person was arrested he watched the trial diligently and was near obsessed with the ways people presented data from different perspectives while seeking a hidden truth. Even in that, the truth stayed hidden and opinion reigned.
As I sit here tonight, and after reading another book, I find myself lost in numbers, the only really pure science, as I consider the age old question: What is truth, and what is opinion? The answer that keeps returning to me is the moment you state you are sure of the truth, you are most likely wrong and discussing opinion. It is an odd statement but what truth is there outside of math? What reality outside of what we can prove and no one can dispute? If one person, just one, dissents, how can it be truth? With that in mind I consider my positions and postures carefully, and only discuss them with people I trust. Even then I wonder. After all, if a group of blind men cannot describe an elephant, a finite object, how can a man describe something he cannot feel, touch, see, or know. Instead, like Don Quixote, Perhaps we need to continue on our quest for knowledge knowing there may be another windmill ahead, but we will face each one and learn from it.
Welcome to rantings 101. I am obviously your host today.
So as the sun sets on another day, I know my position will change because I know that in my heart and mind I want to grow each day. Without growth there is nothing but a mind staggering and trying to see beyond itself. As the sun passes I remember my litany from long ago, and know that to understand the way, you must first understand the way of the mind. Perhaps on my last day I will say “ahh, 42!” and realize the asterisk applies to everything, good and bad and that for all my musings, the truth was the world is a series of interactions that built who I was, and made me me. Keep growing and be who you are, no matter what.
Sleep sweet, love life, and enjoy every moment…