Monday, May 27, 2013

Playing telephone in Life with the world and one another

I wish you all a very pleasant and reflective Memorial Day holiday. It's good and well on this day to solemnly consider for a time the sacrifices made by those who stood against those powers who sought to put an end to our country and as well for the mistakes we as a country have made and therefore lost our forces to battles that perhaps we should never have been involved in. That latter is the more solemn consideration, for sure.

We all make mistakes from time to time. But on a National level, the mistakes need to be as few and far between as can be made possible. Because it affects so many and so much through time and perception. Perception of others toward the United  States. Perception of ourselves toward who we have become. And the perception of who we have become at this time in History by those who shall follow us and reflect back on our deeds and actions. And motivations. And Humanity. How we are perceived by others is far more important than we tend to give it weight. The weight of importance, of reactions, and of delayed reactions.

Perception is a difficult thing at times to deal with. It can be overwhelming at both a national, world stage level, as well as in a more intimate, interpersonal level.

Have you ever played, "Telephone" at a party? Basically, it's where you tell someone a secret and it's passed down the line, everyone trying to remain as true and accurate as possible to the original statement. Then, from the last person in line, you hear what they say they were told and compare it to what was originally said and sent down the line.

Typically in comparing the two ends, you get two very different statements.

Well, consider this. When you're in a romantic relationship, you are actually playing "telephone", with your mate. There are far less involved, it is only the two of you. But some of the communications you receive from one another are not just from words, but actions, looks, and other people's comments. Indirect actions, even. But the concept is the same. You start with your thought, and by the time it reaches your partner's conception of what you are communicating, something about it has almost always changed in the process.

Last year I was watching Kofi Annan, once head of the United Nations, on The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC. He was talking about how hard it was when he was head of the UN, to try and explain between the leaders of the US and Iran how, what one Iranian leader had said to its farmers in the countryside of Iran, shouldn't be incorrectly interpreted by the American leaders in Washington DC, from considering directly what was said. Sometimes, what was said in the countryside was merely an attempt for the leader of Iran to explain to an uneducated farmer, topics such as Nuclear power.

For that explanation to then be understood by the leaders in America well, it simply doesn't translate well; or in fact, at all. Kofi Annan said that he had so much trouble in pointing out that, that what was said to an Iranian farmer shouldn't be listened to or reacted to by the leaders of the US.

It was like playing "telephone" between two world leaders. That is one side of it.

The other side is considering communication simply from one entity to another. That's talking at the country sized level. Now drop it down to individual sized level. Every person on earth has a different understanding or filter of the world, from every other individual.

Certainly, we all have a somewhat general understanding or we could never communicate at all. Still, that being said, we really don't all FULLY understand exactly what any other person is saying. On an international stage, this is very disconcerting.

Now, apply that concept into the tiny confines of a romantic relationship. Tiny confines from an outsider's perspective perhaps, but from an insider's perspective it can become an overburdened, intolerably huge affair. How do we ever truly communicate? How can we truly know the other person? Or, other nation for that matter.

Kind of scary when you think about it. Right?

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