Our experiences in life are limited. Most of our lives are spent doing the sames things, having the same kinds of experiences. Our circles of people are usually well defined. We know people by first names. "Hi, Ben", "Hi, Sue". Out of the house by 7, take the same route, grab a cup of joe, hope the freight train is not going through, pull into the lot, dash to desk/cube, etc. We have favorites. We have dislikes.
Along this journey of life most of us develop a set of things we recognize at a glance (A, B, C). These patterns of thinking become so much a part of us we're hardly aware of it. And when we run into something very much out side of our "normal", we're usually left flat footed and discombobulated.
(If the word 'discombobulated' is new to you, and you were confused or mystified by seeing it in the last sentence, then this give credence to my claim.)
Here's the rub: What happens if you run into a 'Q'? Its completely outside your experience! You have nothing to relate it to, AND, there are no clues as to if it falls into a catagory of things you've ever run into before.
Most of us run through a routine like this ...
"Well, it certainly isn't an 'A'. It is not enough like 'B'. It seems it is most like 'C'. So, I will treat it like 'C'. In fact as far as I'm concerned it IS a C." And then we begin to interact with Q as if is was a C, usually with more or less humorous results following.
I'll give you an example you may have seen (or done) before: When a person talks to a stranger who does not understand the language being spoken, what does the speaker do? They usually end up SAYING THE SAME THING ... LOUDER.
Point being the speaker probably was operating from the "people who can't understand what I am saying means they are hard of hearing" pattern. Solution: TALK LOUDER!
All of this seems kind of theoretical, except that I have a feeling there are alot of things in life, alot of people in our lives, that we "don't get". We interpret them as an A, a B or a C, when in reality they are a V, an 8 or a Q. Confusion follows. It can be subtle or ruinously noisy, depending. Sometimes we shake our heads as we walk away, "What was wrong with them?!" , we say to ourselves. Maybe we never get a clue that it wasn't them at all...
It might be enlightening to take a day to watch oneself to see if and when we do this. A deeper seeing may result. I find that I need to slow down my pace to really SEE to really HEAR new things (avoid mis-perceiving). I have found the exercise of walking much slower to be of help. Also, stopping to see what a flower smells like, or to just gaze at the clouds for a while and let the progess of their vapors unfold.
Allen Pollock, ( Owner of Gentle Breeze Farm, LLC located in Windham, Maine )
Gentle ponderings & ruminations on life and living