June 24, 2011

An Epiphany

One of the definitions of the word ‘epiphany’ is “[a] comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization“. I had one of those about thirty-five years ago. I shall never forgot it.

I had a roommate at the time with whom I could not get along. Try as I might, he just kept doing things that seemed calculated to annoy me. I was starting to hate his guts. And as is often the case, it was obvious that he was feeling the same way towards me.

Well, it was impossible for us to get out of our living arrangements for some time. We were stuck. Faced with the prospect of several months of miserable living, we both sat down and decided to try to see if we could work out our differences. To get things started and to have some basis of discussion, we decided that we would each make a list of things that really bugged us about the other. We would then prioritize the list, placing at the top the thing that bugged us most, then the next worst thing, then the next worst thing, and so on.

It took me only about a minute to quickly write down five items. It then only took me a couple of minutes more to prioritized them. My roommate did the same thing.

The moment of truth had arrived. We compared lists.

They were the exact same list! They were the exact same items listed in the exact same order. What bugged me about the other person was exactly what bugged him about me and to the same degree.

I learned an important principle that day. When I see something that bugs me, really bugs me in another person, I first make very sure that I am not guilty of the exact same thing. And guess what? Nine times out of ten, I am.

You can see this phenomena quite easily on our board. A supporter of candidate “A” will criticize a supporter of candidate “B” for something, yet just one or two comments earlier the first supporter was doing the same exact thing.  Either that, or one poster will attack another poster, and the target will retaliate by turning around and attacking the first poster. Either way, they are guilty of doing the same thing as the other guy.

Some call it hypocrisy. While it is true that you could call it that, I seldom do. Instead, as I learned nearly four decades ago, I tend to call it just plain old human nature.

Some of the rhetoric on this board does get to be rather heated at times. We are a political site, after all — a political site that caters to Republicans and conservatives of all stripes. So we tend to have differing opinions about things that we are passionate about. That is a recipe for flame wars. So let’s be careful that we don’t contribute to them.

A word of caution needs to be interjected here. Kavon has a fairly high threshold before he will pull the trigger and ban someone. But he will ban them. With the 2012 campaign heating up, so are the tempers and the rhetoric. Be extra careful. Never forget that this is his site. We are his guests. If he issues a warning, you best give heed to it. Otherwise you will find yourself on the outside looking in. Please don’t let it progress to that point.

Remember, we choose the way we respond to people. It is our choice, nobody else’s.  And the choices we make reflect directly upon us. Dumbledore perhaps said it best. “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

What do your choices show about you?

by @ 9:00 am. Filed under Culture
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20 Responses to “An Epiphany”

  1. Heath Says:

    I see good old Jonathan Chait has had an epiphany of sorts as well and in his own special way has admitted he was very very wrong about Mitt’s death watch all of 5 weeks ago lol.

    http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/90657/romney-death-watch-reconsidered

  2. Heath Says:

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/23/handicapping-the-republican-field-part-i-the-top-tier/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    Nate Silver getting on the right track – except even 40% is WAY too low for Mitt.

    I seriously have them

    55% Mitt
    40% Perry
    2.5% T/Paw
    2.5% Huntsman
    2.5% Palin
    2.5% Bachmann
    2.5% Huckabee
    2.5% Any Other

    And yes I have been putting my money where my mouth is. Almost every day since Barry took over.

  3. Deg Says:

    Race42012 wouldn’t be race42012 if it weren’t for Smack, Teledude, Craig4Huck???, and others. This is why I come back to race, to see what the naysayer’s have to say.

    I have been noticing that a lot of people are warming up to Romney, I guess Romney really is going to win the nomination this time around.

  4. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    Adam X… ahem…. ahem

  5. Matt "MWS" Says:

    marK,

    Here’s what bugs me so much about you.

    1. You’re smart.
    2. You’re honorable.
    3. You’re devilishly handsame.
    4. You can’t stand Mitt Romney.

  6. Heath Says:

    http://dismalpoliticaleconomist.blogspot.com/2011/06/grouping-republican-candidates-ala.html

    Ha ha this is funny and actually very accurate!

  7. Jaxemer11 Says:

    Good post.

  8. Jaxemer11 Says:

    Good stuff Heath.

  9. Jaxemer11 Says:

    While we’re posting random unrelated links, I came across this one (that is completely irrelevant to the current state of the race). It is about how Reagan came to appoint Bush as his Veep in 1980. Very fascinating stuff, that gives you an idea of how the back room negotiating works:

    http://www.hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/article/7991

  10. hamaca Says:

    Yeah but can you tell Matt “MWS” to quit starting mess?

  11. marK Says:

    Matt,

    Boy, have I got YOU fooled.
    :-)

  12. MarqueG Says:

    I had a roommate at the time with whom I could not get along.

    Lemme guess: You hated him for the way he dangled his prepositions out.

  13. hamaca Says:

    6. That was one of the most entertaining political pieces I’ve read–thanks, Heath!

  14. hamaca Says:

    12. Yours is the sort of impertinence up with which I will not put.

  15. Liz Says:

    I applaud Mr. Lowe for calling for a more civil tone. As an olive leaf, I will be the first to voluntarily ban myself for as long as I can stand it. My goal is six months. Who else will take the self-banning challenge?

    My last comment is to wonder aloud whether or not DELTA AIRLINES is really implementing Sharia law on behalf of Saudi Arabia and refusing to carry people of the Jewish faith. If true, it’s blood curdling stunning.

  16. Matt "MWS" Says:

    #14 LOL!

  17. MarqueG Says:

    14. The truest words never spoken.

  18. Bobinator Says:

    Thanks Mark. I wish we would remember, even when we are pumping up “our guy” that we are all on the same team and have the same final goal.

  19. marK Says:

    Margue.12:“Lemme guess: You hated him for the way he dangled his prepositions out.”

    *snort*

    No, that came years later when I began my career as an engineer. Engineers must write concisely and correctly. Their reports are viewed by a lot of people, including English majors. So you learn to write so as not to greatly offend their sensibilities.

    Which brings up the one grammatical rule I refuse to follow — the proscription against splitting infinitives. As far as I’ve been able to determine, some academic back around 1900 decided that since you can’t split infinitives in Latin, you shouldn’t be allowed to do them in English. Is that a non sequitur or what?

  20. Bob Hovic Says:

    19 — I refuse to blindly obey that rule as well.

    I sometimes dangle prepositions as well, feeling myself in good company with Winston Churchill (who was paraphrased by Hamaca above).

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