I am not God, and neither are you

26 June 2010

Are you listening to me, or do you just hear me talking? Are you just waiting for me to stop speaking so you can have your turn to say what is on your mind? Is it more important for you to interrupt me to tell me what is on your mind instead of listening to what I am right in the middle of saying?

Listen people, please, listen. I am not God and neither are you. What I mean by that is that I do not speak in absolutes and neither do you; Only God can do that with authority.

When you're engaged in conversation do you really pay attention to what the other person is saying or are you not paying much attention and just waiting for them to stop so you can say what is so important to you. I bet if the answer to that is that you're just waiting for your turn, you probably also think that when you're speaking about whatever is so darned important to you, that the other person really is listening to you and cares about what you have to say. In all actuality, they're probably feeling the same way as you do when they're talking. "I can't wait for them to shut up so I can enlighten them with my thoughts" or "I have to tell them how great I am at doing this". And if they really are listening to you and paying attention, caring about what you're saying, then you are a freaking jerk for not being attentive and receptive of their thoughts in your "conversation" with them.

With that said, people often may hear you say something like, for example, "I usually take this route to get to work". Someone may actually remember that you said that and the one day you choose to take a different route than you had stated before, they will then proceed to beat you up for taking that different route. "Oh! I thought you said you always take this route. What happened to that?"

What's wrong with that there? Well let's see. First the example is NOT an ABSOLUTE. In the example, I used the word "usually". That word implies a pattern that is often followed, but on occasion you may do something different. Now to make that example an absolute, you could substitute the word "always" for "usually".

Secondly, the other person said "I thought...". That short phrase usually gets us all in trouble a lot. What we think happened, a lot of times isn't what really happened. Now either the other person really thought that you "always" take that route because they truly weren't listening to what was said, or they purposefully chose to beat you up over something they felt you went back on against an earlier statement. In either case you're a jerk.

As an introvert, I am not a man of much speak. I often talk very little in comparison to the average extrovert which is about 75% of the population. But I will tell you this much, I choose my words very carefully when I do speak. I am a person who typically means what he says, and says what he means. I don't talk just to have my voice heard.

So when I say something or make a statement, I often choose words like "usually", "should" and "often" which leaves me wiggle room in whatever I just said. That is due to the fact that I am not God and I may not always stick to what I said. I may change my mind or go back on something. I may want to deviate from my norm, and I would appreciate it if you would actually listen to what I have to say and absorb it somewhat so that when I do something different from what I may have said, I don't want to get beat up for what you presume I said. It might even show that you care a little about the other person if you actually listen to them.

That is why I am not God and neither are you. We cannot speak in absolutes because we may end up eating our words when what we say doesn't always work out.

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