Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hear Me!

"Not being burdened with the need to be heard, to be understood, to push a point, to be liked, or to be right, life is much simpler."


Have I already made an error? Is this statement itself not my own effort to push a point?

But wait: Is that actually what the statement says? Did you assume that this point is important for me to push? Do I need you to understand this point? To what lengths will I go to make you understand?

Suppose I climb up on the soapbox in the public square at noon and sincerely declare,

"9 x 9 = 82."

Will you be the one to step out of the crowd and spend the afternoon arguing to prove me wrong? Will you be the person who will not let anyone who's heard my speech leave unless they've heard you too? Will you tell stories at the office and then at home over dinner about the crazy person who made the statement? Will you try to convince your friends to return with you tomorrow to see if I return to continue the fight? Will you obsess and lose sleep over planning your strategies? Will you find and surround yourself with people to reassure you that you were really right? Will you start to wonder whether they really believe you, whether they are simply telling you the things you want to hear? How will you be sure?

While your mind is locked on this matter, what are you not doing? What are you neglecting?

... and how are those around you actually seeing you as you try to manage their perception of you?

Ideas, beliefs, causes, philosophies, or even simple points of argument: people fight and die---figuratively and literally---over such things, laying waste to everything and everyone around them, and then finally themselves in the process.

Every one of our lives ends in death. For a fee, the epitaph "But I was right!" can be inscribed on your tombstone so that it can continue your fight on your behalf, but even that will not guarantee that you will not be remembered as the fool who lost everything to madness.

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