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Typhoon SSBN


Posted on 2012.05.01 at 14:08
Current Location: 67114
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I posted my picture on that snatch-laden Russian community where I received the guttural reply, "Вылитый Гордон Фримен, ага" which, loosely translated suggests I look like Gordon Freeman from the video game Half Life. Now while I wish I had that much hair, during my search for pictures I found others of Dr. Gregory House from the television series House, MD dressed in the same garb drawing the same conclusions (though I look even less like him).

And all of this just kind of came together with having been toying with the idea that restricting access to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden by the Omnipotent Being, "God" meant that we as a species absolutely do not require negatives in our life to more appreciate the positives.

Divinity aside, I myself have often fallen prey to the platitude that "bad" things tend to help us appreciate the "good" things; that taking anything for granted is a sure-fire way to discover your appreciation of something is ever only temporary. And yet, despite knowing this - believing it to be true - very few of us actively seek to live a life that sucks and is full of hardship and suffering so that later we can drink deeply from the vessel of happiness. Although I myself have chosen that path for that very reason, it almost always seemed to backfire. Regardless, I no longer require that level of empiricism. I absolutely know I do not require negatives in my life to put the positives in perspective for me.

So where does House fit in?

I was thinking about his uneven temperament. In his world, the outcome of identical scenarios is never consistent. One day he could react with laughing and joy, the next lashing out in anger. If everything was seemingly the same, why the difference? The difference is the rules in his head that no one else knows about, coupled with the foggy soup of feelings - unexamined emotions which are allowed to manifest. There was a neighborhood lady who liked to tell jokes and laugh and chase us kids. One day she didn't feel like doing that, but no one knew. All of a sudden what we were doing was unacceptable in her eyes and she became inconsolable.

I like rules, yes - but they only work if I know what they are. When my children were younger and playing tag with each other in the yard, "safe" areas were never stationary, they were arbitrarily designated places closest to wherever they happened to be at the time. Unlimited time outs designed in a such a way to never lose. And while I am convinced I no longer require strife to assist in illuminating happiness, I do believe that only through occasional failure can we truly learn unexpected things.

How can I believe both with a clear conscious? Simple. I don't hitch my feelings of positivity nor negativity to things which can be given or taken. By making myself solely responsible for my feelings of self-worth I have conquered all fear of loss. Many preach personal responsibility forgetting that it applies equally to behavior - not just actions.


ehowton at 2012-05-01 22:40 (UTC) (Link)

Re: dude...

I get that a lot myself.
michelle1963 at 2012-05-01 22:11 (UTC) (Link)
The concept of not being able to appreciate the positives without the negatives, is a platitude we tell ourselves in order to endure the negatives. While there may be some truth to the idea that when we are knowledgeable of those with less fortunate circumstances it focuses us on our own positives, I for one do need to personally be acquainted with starvation in order to enjoy a good meal. Now, this does not mean we cannot learn from a negative experience, and if we are lucky we can learn how to avoid some negatives in the future. That said, others just suck. The death of a loved one, for example, is just something to be endured. Losing someone never had the effect of making me appreciate life more.
ehowton at 2012-05-02 04:37 (UTC) (Link)
Perhaps not you. But if your self-identity was tied to that person, and you'd never experienced life first-hand, you have to admit it would be a mind-expanding, eye-opening difference. Life goes on. I learned that in my 40s. Maybe some who haven't been around it don't know that yet. For me, the knowledge was empowering, and from another perspective, could be viewed as very, very positive.
michelle1963 at 2012-05-02 04:50 (UTC) (Link)
You bring up a good point, which makes me consider modifying my initial premise. In using terminology like negative and positive, I began thinking in terms of black and white, on and off. The reality is that many experiences have both positive and negative aspects. I suspect that these may provide the deepest learning.
michelle1963 at 2012-05-02 12:47 (UTC) (Link)
In regard to death: The first time I experienced a loss, I too, learned that life goes on. Here's the thing, I learned that lesson the first time. The subsequent losses did not renew that lesson nor reveal any further profoundness. And perhaps that is in and of itself a lesson as well.
michelle1963 at 2012-05-01 22:51 (UTC) (Link)
I like rules, yes - but they only work if I know what they are.

A friend shared with me this story about her ex (I'll skip the history behind his psychology): She said that her husband would set up in his mind expectations for her. The only problem is that he would never share with her what these expectations were. Huh? So how was that supposed to work?

He was setting her up to fail and setting himself up for disappointment.

Really kind of sad. (Btw, he initiated the divorce; she did not.)

Edited at 2012-05-01 11:37 pm (UTC)
ehowton at 2012-05-02 04:34 (UTC) (Link)
I think for the most part, everyone (you and I perhaps excluded) do this on a regular basis.

I've seen coworkers do this with other coworkers and their management. Its a feeling thing - you and I wouldn't understand.
michelle1963 at 2012-05-02 04:46 (UTC) (Link)
I suspect your analysis is correct. Given that the friend in the story is an INTJ, she was equally baffled.
michelle1963 at 2012-05-01 23:30 (UTC) (Link)
And while I am convinced I no longer require strife to assist in illuminating happiness, I do believe that only through occasional failure can we truly learn unexpected things.

We need to learn to quit seeing failure as a negative. If a person attempts something ~ learning a new language, creating a work of art, embarking on a new habit (weight loss, smoking-cessation) etc.~ and the project is a struggle with the desired outcome not being achieved the first time, our culture considers it a failure and a negative. By defintion ~ the condition or fact of not achieving the desired end or ends ~ it is a failure. But why is that also a negative? In all of these things, even if we don't achieve what we want initially, we have no doubt learned something in the process which enables us to proceed with another attempt ~ and depending on the scope of the endeavor, perhaps, many further attempts. The problem is in the concept that we must achieve results the first time without expending much energy, and never having had any previous experience in which to insure success.

I shudder to think what would happen if a scientist or inventor considered failure to be a negative.

ehowton at 2012-05-02 04:37 (UTC) (Link)
Great Scott!
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