Friday, December 26, 2008

My ability to communicate

I ascribe a great deal of power to the concept of communication. I have come to believe that when my opinion doesn't share a common ground of belief with the people I communicate with, it's not because we couldn't (possibly under different circumstances) come to believe the same thing; rather, it's because I have simply failed to articulate my ideas in such a fashion that the receiving party is willing to accept them. I tell myself that such is typically the case because of the life experiences that the listening party has had.

For example, I have a communist friend. She is convinced that the best possible method for achieving "the most good" available on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is when government provides the lower eschelon needs (food/shelter) for its citizens--even at the expense of the citizens' opportunity to pursue the higher eschelon needs of Self Actualization. This expense is well worth the cost in my friend's opinion. I believe the opposite--that government's job is to secure our opportunities for self actualization, and that it has neither the obligation nor the right to limit those opportunities in the name of "providing for citizens", "safety", or any other cause. No matter how eloquently I articulate my view, my communist friend won't see it my way. She has had too many social, cultural, and personal experiences to believe otherwise. Yet, I maintain my belief in my view.

I see power in communication because I believe that there IS a "true North". I believe the concept of "absolute truth" affects far more areas of our life than most people are willing to give credence. Instead, we have come to accept the idea that there is no 'right' or 'wrong'; rather there's only "what I value" and "what you value" based on our respective perspectives.

So here's why I bring all this up. That I'm struggling to articulate my view on the dangerous aspects of spouses developing a "non-marriage-related personal side" doesn't change the fact that I believe there are some legitimate "true North" dangers there. That being said, I genuinely lament any pain or stifling effect this view may have on my dear wife, and I am seeking to rectify such things.

I sincerley appreciate the thoughts that have been communicated, but interestingly (to me, at least) I don't disagree with any of them. That is, they all coincide with my view on this issue. (i.e. I think personal associations are important, I should be careful to not let my personal emotions manipulate my wife's actions, etc.) That may seem contradictory, but I maintain it is so.

A quote attributed to a Dr. Frank Crane defines friends thusly: "What is a Friend? I'll tell you. It is a person with whom you dare to be yourself. . . . He understands those contradictions in your nature that cause others to misjudge you. . ." I appreciate the level of friendship I have with all people I encounter. To those who have yet to completely understand all the contradictions in my nature, I just wish I could communicate more effectively.

1 comment:

Wade Hone said...

Eloquently put friend.