perspective

Listening but Not Hearing

If you ever get the chance read How To Win Friends and Influence Others I highly recommend it. Not only does the book explain the importance of perspective it covers a huge issue as to why people cannot get along. Personally I have found that the book helps with a number of issues I have had with others in the past. Most of which stemmed from a lack of communication, and understanding of another persons perspective.

There is that word again, perspective, that I constantly talk about. It is the word that I will continue to use when attempting to create a tool box for others to use when tackling the issues that they face. Perceptive is the first thing that we should think of when we are getting into an argument, or a situation that needs leverage.

I am horrible when it comes to hearing my wife. I can listen to her, but ultimately I will challenge what she says, and try to negotiate to my side of thinking, because I believe that I am naturally right. It has been like this ever since we started dating years ago. I would push us toward a fight because I really wasn’t hearing what she was trying to say to me.

My wife hates to work. She once told me that she didn’t want to work, that if she could she wouldn’t. Now instead of asking what she meant, or even giving her a chance to discuss what she meant I immediately started in on her asking her if she thought that I was going to be the only one to make ends meet. This exploded into a argument, and that fight followed into the night.

After a few days she brought up the topic again that she didn’t want to work, and I was at a point that I knew that this could lead to a fight, so instead I just asked her what she meant by this. She started talking about how all of her life she felt that she wanted to do more, and a normal 9 to 5 job wasn’t the life she wanted to life. She wanted more.

She wasn’t telling me that she was unwilling to work, or even that she wasn’t capable of helping out our family she was saying that she wanted more for us, and wanted to know how we could go about this. How we could change our lives from the normal 9 to 5 to something that resembled a life worth living. This was literally why we started the blog in the first place to create a life worth living, and I shot her perspective down because I wasn’t hearing her.

In the book How to Win Friends and Influence Others it talks about taking this step back to gain an understanding of what the other person is actually trying to say. If we first have an understanding of what we are talking about then we can move forward on our perspective. If we are just listening to answer we are not hearing what the person is offering to us.

I deal with conflict on a daily basis, and if I do not take what the person is saying into mind, and try to understand their problem all I am doing is adding to their suffering like I did with my wife. People are complicated, and will at times be unable to be truly open about what they’re going through. Even after knowing my wife for eight years there are somethings that she has a hard time opening up about, and I to her. If I assume what she is trying to say without really knowing then I cannot make a difference in our lives.

As a couple we have a lot to work on with communication, and taking the other person’s perspective in mind. However, taking that step back, and hearing the other person will help make a difference in each other lives.

Miracles are Science

I have been discussing proof of God in previous posts, and you should read them before this one, but I can prove to you now that the miracles of God can be explained with Science.

This is simple really, it comes down to the previous posts where I discuss that there is no proof of God due to God not existing in our Universe (nominal verse phenomenal), and that God can’t exist objectively as to what will occur to human actions (inability to have free will). God does work miracles, there is no questions in my mind of this, but I believe that these miracles can easily be explained away by science and shouldn’t they be?

This idea came to me long ago during an existential crisis that I had watched on the discovery channel. It was a program on Moses and the plagues. It was a discussion on how the plagues could be explained with science. That each of the plagues were just a series of coincidences. There was another program similar to this that was stated that all of Jesus’s Miracles could be explained also with science, and that he was just a very good healer, not necessarily a God.

Now as a child this seemed to be a pretty clear and shut case, that the plagues were a coincidence, and Jesus wasn’t God. I mean how could I, a child, argue with the Discovery channel documentaries? So, my faith wavered, and I thought that miracles couldn’t exist. Even when I came back to my faith I thought that miracles were a bit ridiculous, and then I began reading the bible again and digging deeper.

We think of miracles as some sort of out of the way dealing that God does, he works some sort of magic, and then Bam! Miracle. Now I trust that you have read my previous articles, and know exactly what I am about to say: Miracles first cannot be known, if they were obvious and known then we would then have objective proof of God, and as we already know that cannot exist as it has its own consequences. Two, miracles are proven by science, because God created the universe, so by whatever means he uses to interfere with the Universe should have explanations grounded in science.

Now I know that some people will say, I heard God directly, or that Doctors said my mothers cancer was incurable, and to that I say well yes those could be miracles, but again re-read the above.

This is a difficult concept for some but we should remember what Jesus was preaching in the desert, what you do with your right hand do not let your left hand know. Jesus, God, was preaching that if you do good in the world it should look like you were never involved at all.

If this is what God was asking of his followers then it should be pretty easily expected that this is what God is doing. He will interact in our lives, and make it seem like he was never there at all. We can recognize that this is Gods interference in our lives, and give thanks for it, but ultimately there can be no objective proof.

Miracles can change people, and bring someone to God. Often when speaking with someone who describes a miracle they have this feeling that God is at work, or they are amazed by the outcome. I don’t disagree with these beliefs, the only extra I am offering is if that were to be looked at and examined it could be explained, and should be explained.

I don’t know if I have had a miracle in my life that is super obvious that it was God interacting in my life. When I looked at certain parts of my life, and see how I landed on my feet, I certainly believe that God was involved. However, again this could all be explained away by coincidences, yet I am ok with this.

I am ok with someone telling me that God cannot exist, and the miracles are explained by science. I am ok with this as I agree, objective proof of God cannot exist, and that the miracles he performs are explainable because if I believe that God created the Universe then he should be able to manipulate it.

This all comes down again to faith. We as Christians have to have faith, and trust in those before us. We have five accounts in the Bible discussing the life of Jesus all giving us a way to increase our faith. We need to see five perspective otherwise we might fall away thinking that it could all be made up like so many other beliefs. I have faith that I am where I am at because of God, and that is a miracle, but if I looked real hard at my life I think I could explain it with science.

Commitment to Yourself

This will be a fairly brief post. The mission of a Work in Progress (A-WIP) is to better ones self. I have, in previous posts, outlined what this means to me. Through photography, philosophy, and creative writing I find the best way to live for me. I share this better self of me on this blog as an example of taking control of my life. Now this this idea of being better is different for everyone. Here at A-WIP we want everyone to reach that ideal self, and we believe the only way to do this is to make a commitment to yourself.

I want say this as gentle as I can, but this commitment cannot have excuses. I know that many people suffer from issues be that of mental, or physical and my goal isn’t to mitigate those issues. However, saying I cannot because of _____ just tells me that you have a crutch that you cannot let go of yet. To make a commitment to oneself is to know that these issues may affect us, but should not control us. There is the difference.

To make a commitment to yourself first find out what it is you want out of life. For me it is to live an accepting Christian lifestyle, this could be different for you, but what does life look like to you in the future? Who do you see yourself being?

Know what challenges are ahead for the choices that you make and create a plan for overcoming those challenges. If you aren’t sure what challenges await then at least create good coping skills for when issues arise.

Finally when you create this commitment let us know, and let us know your progress. If anything we want to be supportive of you in your journey along with us in becoming our best selves.

Common Sense Perspective

When I was young I had a perspective. I thought that everyone knew my perspective. If they had two eyes, and a brain then of course they would see things my way, the right way. Why if you have any trouble understanding anything come talk to me I see how the world is. Red is the best color, Scooby-Doo is the best show, and recess is a subject in school because it is in school.

Now that I am older I have a perspective, but I submit that others have theirs. I cannot say that I entirely understand the perspective of my wife, or my family. I cannot entirely, or fully understand the life of any person from the world. I cannot agree with my wife on if her birthday was at one place when she said it was another. We had both been there, both eaten food, and travel together. Surely one of us is correct? If in her eyes it was at one place and in my eyes it was at another aren’t we both correct?

If I look at something and say that this is what is right, and then one looks at the same something and says that it is wrong aren’t we both right? If opposing views give way to human suffering, can the only remedy be to submit to others views, to accept that they have theirs, and I have mine…?

…And am I not entitled to my perspective, can I not say that this is right, and that is wrong. After all, I have earned what my eyes and brain saw. I earned the experiences, and lived through it all. To say to me that what I believe is wrong is to say that I have not lived, when I know that I have. I did not come to conclusions of my life by not living.

…But is there not objectivity to the world? Didn’t the birthday have to happen at one place rather than another? Credit card receipts, photographs, witness statements. Can we not prove that one of us is right, and the other is wrong? Yes, and no. Yes if the objectivity could prove that one of us is right, and the other is wrong. No if the objectivity could prove that both of us are right, or that the objectivity is subjective in nature. A photo could prove that we were at one place, but it just as well could prove that we were at another. If it was true we were here, and the photo makes it so that we were there then the objective photo becomes subjective to perspective. If there is no “true” objectivity then we must submit that we are both correct, or at the very least both true to our perspective. Isn’t that the best that any of us can truly hope for in this world?

…Yet humans will suffer. There can be two answers to who committed the crime, and if the “objectivity” fails to be objective then the wrong person can be punished. While the suffering occurs can the jury be blamed for their perspective? Did they not take the evidence and act accordingly? Certainly there are some problems that go beyond submitting to someone’s perspective, and inevitably these issues create conflict that in turns creates human suffering. However, if we act truthfully to ourselves, and at the very least attempt to understand the perspective of others then human suffering could be mitigated.

…Or is this a way to skate around morality issues justifying deviance by saying my perspective says otherwise? We hope that the other person in front of us is acting in good faith with their perspective. It is wrong to steal, but if I steal to feed my family because I have no other way, my perspective is real even though it does create suffering. What I do is wrong, but for the right reason, at the very least for me. If I steal because I cannot help myself due to a clinically diagnosis issue, then my perspective includes that diagnosis. My perspective is real even though it does create suffering. If I steal because I find it enjoyable, or because I feel that it is owed to me then I am being real in my perspective by justifying my action as enjoyable, or owed to me. However, this justification intentionally ignores the human suffering of another. Doing the wrong thing for the wrong reason. Even if this perceived object that I covet is owed to me, to steal it is to ignore the perspective of the other person who sells it. Is the seller not owed something as well?

For the problems of my everyday life I can say that I submit that everyone is correct. I don’t have to create conflict when my wife says we ate there, instead of here. I don’t have to create conflict when I am told this is good, and that is bad. I submit that people will do as people see fit according to their perspective as I will do. I submit that people are justified in their minds their actions as I am of mine.

For the issues that inevitable must have an “objective” answer I submit that the person in front of me is correct in their mind and justified in their actions, as I am in mine. I hope that they are acting in good faith. If we can both agree that we are both at least knowing of the other person as having a perspective then maybe a compromise rather than domination can be achieved.

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