Thursday, November 13, 2008

Opposition Overload

The problem with understanding is that it relies on perception, and perception is an individual activity with subjective results.  Unless individuals agree on the meaning of words in a particular context, it becomes virtually impossible to achieve mutual understanding. Often it seems that the result of this effort is a form of judgement leading to rejection not only of the idea put forth, but of the person stating the idea, and a subsequent prejudice toward all ideas of that nature and all people who espouse them. Welcome to the Global War on Egalitarianism.

It doesn't seem to matter what the issue is, age, race, religion, politics, morality, philosophy, etc., or just a personal taste in recreation, art, music, style, ad infinitum. There are plenty of arguments available, and multiple sides to take.

I don't mean to denigrate, or minimize the significance of anyone's point of view. I just want to say, I'm exhausted. While the neuro-hormonal rush that comes from grappling with weighty, or even less consequential matters can be exciting in the short term, eventually I just feel drained. I wonder too if this will become another addiction among many I've practiced, if it isn't curbed. Now, before anyone starts reaching for their high horse's saddle, let me bring my thoughts to a conclusion.

In the months I've spent online, joining, sometimes posting, but most often lurking in groups and fora, I've yet to find a comfort zone. I'm not sure exactly what that implies about me, or the people I've encountered. It seems that I've noticed more the tendency to object than agree, to defend than examine. Are there people who's desire for understanding transcends individual issues and prejudices? Will my own biases preclude me from recognizing, or accepting them? Am I an asshat for even thinking about this? I wish I knew.


oneperson said...

Asshat...I had to go look it up in the Urban Dictionary. Ha! You are far from an asshat...but I too have dealt with similar (internal) reactions. I have the sad (bad) habit of turning that internal dissonance(?) into doubt about myself. I then turn on myself, feeling I must take a side, and that if I don't it is evidence of a lack of intelligence. I may always struggle in that area. I am getting up in years, and the 'symptom' continues to hang on with tenacity.

Yet, I don't find myself going through that same mental/emotional hoop when I read a book or article. Hmmm...perhaps I feel some pressure to respond on a cyber-forum.

Thanks for stirring my grey matter... :-)

Anonymous said...

I think it takes some sort of insanity to not be immune to criticism or even an opposing opinion. I often appear spineless or stupid, and maybe rightfully so, by "sullying my reputation" by giving opposing views, even absurd ones, a critical eye. I am operating under the sure assumption that no one is infallible, the least of which myself.

I call myself and my blog "obsessed with reality" as a way of describing this form of mental illness: I often lose myself so that I can look into things that I, with my prejudices, can't see.