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#329853 - 05/24/08 12:58 AM Knowing thy self and others
tovasshi Offline

Registered: 02/15/05
Posts: 1419
Loc: Banana, Canada
When faced with a hypothetical situation or reflecting on a news story, many people will make the claim that they absolutely know, without a shadow of a doubt, what they would do in that situation or one like it. And they almost always state it in a way to make themselves look good. One the same lines you will have people who will say “you should have,” or “Why didn't you?” along with the “I would have.” Everyone is an expert on situations they have never been in.

I am of the opinion that no one really knows what they would do in any given situation until they are placed in that situation or one similar to it. I am also of the opinion that no one is immune to committing an act of stupidity once in a while. I think its the hight of pretension to claim such a level of infallibility to know exactly what you would do in any given situation. It doesn't make sense to me. That's not to say that we won't have somewhat of an idea. We can certainly build a prediction based a few things, but to know how things are exactly going to be? No.

Most people are too stubborn to admit they are not perfect, sure they will “say” it, but when you get into a discussion with them about hypotheticals they will try to present themselves as the perfect all knowing creature they so humbly admitted they weren't. Along the same lines, when retelling a story they've actually have been in, they will retell it with a few details missing and exaggerating the parts that make them look good. When they get into a messy situation and need help, they will tell the story as though they were a completely innocent victim. And the eventually begin to believe it happened just as they tell it.

No one is born perfect. No one is born all knowing. And we certainly don't stop making silly mistakes once we become adults. Unless you are a fictional character or have history's most severe case of OCD, you are going to keep making mistakes here and there throughout your life. We are so imperfect we have three versions of ourselves: How we view ourselves, how others view us, and who we really are. Who we are to others may change from person to person and how you view yourself can change day by day depending on your mood. How you view others may change based on what someone else tells you about them. The trick is to pay attention to detail I find. But I still can't be too sure sometimes.

Your favourite colour could change in 7 years time, you don't know what that colour could be.

Who are you? How do you know?

#329866 - 05/24/08 03:20 AM Re: Knowing thy self and others [Re: tovasshi]
FalloutGod Offline
Intellectual Black Hole

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 566
I am evolution and growth but as you said it's a matter of perception. Even those we find to retrograde do in fact evolve but in a direction we find to be negative.

Regardless, I often make claims on what I would have done in a situation, or what should be done. However, it is either by personal experience or by logic that I make these claims. I'm never one to claim what I would have done in a situation I have never been in. Of course, I never tell people why I know what I would do unless they ask. Which often will mislead them to think I may be bragging or trying to make my self look good.

When I see someone beaten half to death in a corner by two people on TV, I will often laugh. With sardonic glee at that, as the person refuses to fight back while attempting to block the hits and dodge them. Why? I didn't exactlly grow up in a nice neighborhood and long ago learned pacifism does not stop bullets or violence. Which is why I say with confidence that in their place I would have fought back until I could at least make a run for it. I have faded scars to prove why cowering does not pay off. Not that someone who grew up in a nice little suburban community is likely to be able to make sense of that reality. Thus why I just prefer to laugh and make such comments. Because instead of having to explain my self I will enjoy the shock on peoples faces.

Cheers. Good post.

Edited by FalloutGod (05/24/08 03:32 AM)

#329875 - 05/24/08 06:16 AM Re: Knowing thy self and others [Re: tovasshi]
shadowraven213 Offline

Registered: 08/19/06
Posts: 541
I was recently forced to question everything about myself, my entire life.

The aftermath was not pretty and I am still having to deal with it daily, I have only asked those closest to me for help and advice as I don't want anyone else's opinion on what they would do in my situation.

I know in the end the buck stops with me.

There are some lessons you just cannot learn until you experience them firsthand.
"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."
Charles Mackay - 1814-1889
Scottish poet, journalist, and song writer.

#329883 - 05/24/08 07:10 AM Re: Knowing thy self and others [Re: tovasshi]
Shade Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 6135
Loc: A Trailer Park
No one likes to think of themselves as naďve or stupid. I know I’ve been tempted to gloss over or “forget” some of the less flattering bits of my personal history. But, to take a line from Pushing Daisies - the truth ain’t like puppies, a bunch of them running around, you pick your favourite. That’s one of the reasons I kind of delight in making fun of myself. I think I’d implode if I took myself too seriously. I already have a propensity for being overly-critical of everything I do and dwelling on my mistakes. I think it’s good to exercise some self-analysis but getting feedback from other folks (in whatever way) really helps balance perspective.

I don’t really like to be “should”-ed though. Does anyone? I suspect I’ve done it to other people and that just makes me cringe. Pinpointing what irks you about other people is a really good way to check yourself. Anyway, I know there are times when “shoulds” can be useful but they can have a taint of sanctimony. Sometimes the “friendly advice” I’ve received seems to have a completely disparate agenda. It’s not always easy to see when my pride is getting in the way of learning though. Taking things with a grain of salt and a bit of humour seems to be the best course for me. Who am I? I think my second grade teacher said I was a work-in-progress. Seems to fit. grin

Nice post, good stuff to think about.
"What happens in the shadow, in the grey regions, also interests us – all that is elusive and fugitive, all that can be said in those beautiful half tones, or in whispers, in deep shade." ~ The Brothers Quay

We're Just Regular People

#329891 - 05/24/08 08:18 AM Re: Knowing thy self and others [Re: tovasshi]
LightAngel Offline

Registered: 09/10/05
Posts: 1738
Loc: Scandinavia
I think it is crucial to know yourself, and I think that it is by all means possible to know yourself. Knowing yourself is a dimension that exists beyond what others think of you or what you would like them to think. At a certain point these three variables may be interconnected, but it is solely by the power of your own mind that you are able to delve deep inside yourself and to find the real truth about who you really are.

People often take themselves too seriously, but I think that is because they are deluding themselves by casting upon themselves an image of a person they would like to be, although they know that that's not who they really are.

When it comes to situations that you have not yet encountered, I think that you can predict your behavior simply by knowing yourself to a very high extent.

What is perfect is that which works for you. It is possible, I believe, that if you know yourself enough, then you can see yourself as perfect within yourself, and then even your shortcomings are perfect because your realize that there is a reason why they are there. Whether or not others will see you as perfect is first of all an entirely different story, and also quite irrelevant, in my opinion.

My preferences may change, what I want to do with my life may change, but if I know myself – then my approach to myself will not change – my existence and that what I am and what I am capable of will never change.

So, I know perfectly well, that if deep inside my mind I am an asshole, that will never change either wink


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