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Disintegrating Facts August 26, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, Nature, People.
48 comments
Solar System Planets.

Image via Wikipedia

When I grew up, we had 9 planets in our Solar System.

I know that because I got a “100” on that science test.

Actually, I got a 104.

I answered the extra credit question.  

I liked to show off. 

It made my Ego feel good.

As I was saying, there were 9 planets:

Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

Now, there are 8.

Pluto has been “demoted” from planet to some other nebulous mass of matter on the far reaches of our Solar System.

If I had said, “Pluto is NOT a planet,” my teacher would have told me I was WRONG . . . and I would not have scored a 104 on the test.

These days, if I said, “Pluto is NOT a planet,” she would agree with me.  As our knowledge expanded, the number of planets in our Solar System shrunk.

A “fact” turned out not to be based in fact at all.

The virtually unanimous opinion of scientists that Pluto had the stature of a planet was based on insufficient data.  Disintegrating facts.

At one time, the Earth was flat and the Sun revolved around us.  We were the center of the Universe.  That, of course, is no longer the case.  The world didn’t change; our interpretation changed.  Facts disintegrated under scrutiny.

Most of the “facts” that people toss about are subject to interpretation.  As such, they aren’t really facts at all.  They are merely opinions . . . based on the information currently available.

Will our knowledge of physics and metaphysics continue to expand causing the facts of today to be knocked out of orbit?   Of course.

For that reason, when I disagree with “facts” espoused by others, I tend to say, “I disagree” ~ alerting them to the fact that we have divergent opinions on the topic being discussed.

I rarely say, “You are wrong” or “I am right” because I might, in fact, be wrong ~ just like those scientists who labeled Pluto a planet.

A divergence of opinion is just that ~ opposite views of the world based on the totality of our experiences to date.

For 30 years, as an atheist, I claimed that “what you see is what you get.”  That opinion changed in the course of a single evening because of a mind-blowing and life-altering experience that convinced me that there IS more to this life than meets the eye.

Does that mean that I should take my experience and argue that atheists are “wrong” about their view of the world?

Of course not.  The what is, IS.  In contrast, the “facts” of life are, of necessity, subject to interpretation based on our experiences and the information currently available to us.

Why would I want to waste my time trying to convince someone else that my view of the world is RIGHT and their view of the world is WRONG?

Other than to satisfy my Ego’s desire to show off, of course.   😉

“Everything we hear is an opinion,  not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” ~ Marcus Aurelius  

No rules.  Just write.

What about you?

When you disagree, do you state your truth calmly and clearly and let others accept or reject it?  Or do you pepper your position with strident comments like, “I’m RIGHT”  or “You’re WRONG!”?

Is it easy for you to agree to disagree?

Related posts:  To Agree Or Disagree * Desiderata . . . Desired Things * A Study of Contrasts * The Courage to Be Free * Unusual Angles * Speak Your Truth . . . Quietly and Clearly

Lopsided “Friendships” August 26, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Happiness, Humor, People.
41 comments

Friendships are rarely one-sided, but they are often lopsided.

If they are one-sided, they end.  If we aren’t getting “something” out of the relationship, we find better things to do with our time (unless we are masochists).

Of course, if we are masochists, we are getting “something” out of the relationship.

So, we’re back to my initial proposition . . .

Friendships are often lop-sided, with one person calling the shots, and the other going along for the ride (because they are getting “something” out of the relationship).

I had a friend once (notice intentional use of past tense) who liked to call all the shots ~ deciding when we got together, where we went, what we did, etc.

Since we often did interesting things, I went along for the ride.

Until I opened my eyes a bit further and asked whether our “friendship” was really worth preserving if I always had to do what she wanted me to do.

I started to test the waters, by being a bit more out-spoken about my desires.  My comments fell on deaf ears.

She wasn’t interested in a friendship based on give and take.  She wanted to dish it out and expected me to take it.  She wanted to take me for granted and push me around.

An example?

At the time of her choosing, we would meet for lunch at a restaurant . . . also of her choosing.  Once ensconced at a table, she would smile and say, with a conspiratorial grin and imperious wave, “Let’s have a glass of wine, shall we?”

She enjoyed the image of “Ladies Who Lunch” ~ maintaining proper decorum while sipping their respective glasses of wine.  That type of lunch suited her image of sophisticated class with a bit of “naughty” tossed into the mix.

One day, instead of going along with her suggestion, I ordered nachos and a beer.

Her expression soured.

She did NOT want to have lunch with someone eating nachos and swigging beer.  She frowned, “Wouldn’t you rather have a nice glass of wine?”

I smiled, “No, thanks.  I’m in the mood for a beer.”

IMGP3282b

My order ruined her lunch.

She was more concerned with  what other diners thought of her as they glanced her way than she was in allowing me to order what I wanted to eat and drink.

That decided it for me.  We  drifted apart.

Friends accept each other as they are . . . without trying to shove each other into glass slippers that don’t fit.

No rules.  Just write!

What about you?  Any similar experiences to share?  Do tell!

Here, let me pour you a glass of wine!

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