Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Living Beyond the Veneer

When we interact with people, we rarely truly engage them as living human beings. We're more often interacting with our limited understanding of who they are. We're dealing with a mental representation of them which filters through our world view, life experiences, prejudices, expectations, desires, labels, judgements, insecurities, and fears. Truly seeing them and being vulnerable is difficult because it requires fresh eyes, lots of questions, and even more listening.

This game perpetuates itself by the representations we ourselves meticulously create for others to perceive. These veneers never stand the test of time nor do they allow us to communicate and understand each other effectively.

I don't claim to have answers or to even know the right questions, but I do want to do better. I want to see, listen, and love.

Expect that from me and please love me enough to tell me when I fall short.


Tim Lytle said...

I think we stifle the idea of showing what you really are (believe, think, feel, etc) so everyone is comfortable being reasonably bland. Or at least being only as varied as is generally acceptable.

I'd rather know what someone really thought about me / life / etc, instead of just what they thought most people would be okay with. At least I think I would.

I guess my point is our societies tenancy to want to silence people most of us think are legitimately 'out of line' may lead to worse problems.

Stephen Knuth said...

Wow, this is very very well written. Made me think.