Saturday, September 19, 2009

Snapshots

I don't like taking photographs of things. Whether it's a special occasion or a vacation, I prefer to just experience things and rely on my memory to keep a record of whatever is important or meaningful. I realize that my mind is a flawed piece of machinery, and that memory is fallible. But I also realize that snapshots are flawed in their own way because of how incomplete they are.

For instance, while I do my best to keep things relevant in what I share in writing this blog, the reader only gets a snapshot of my experience. Enough snapshots can give you the impression of a complete (or at least unfolding) story, but only a fraction of the full experience is shared, by necessity of the medium. It would take a bit more digging to get the full story behind my experience of any piece of learning I share in a few paragraphs here.

Likewise, I only have snapshots of other people. And some of those pictures aren't even true. I create my own impressions and predictions of people based on very limited information. I don't honestly know any more about anyone than what they are willing to share with me. I'm going to form predictions and expectations about people. It's when I base my own actions on those predictions that I run into trouble.

When I am willing to be surprised by people, I usually find it to be rewarding. When I stand in my own integrity, I base my decisions about what I do or say on myself rather than my predictions about others. If I am willing to be honest about what I notice, without having to be "right" or get a certain outcome, I never have to worry about how someone else will respond. And the picture I wind up with about another person becomes clearer when I concentrate on just being honest about me and I let them be honest about them.

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