Friday, August 22, 2008

Practice Empathy

Sometimes,not infrequently,I find myself wondering exactly what it is that motivates people to do the things they do.
I mean,..what the hell are they thinkin'??

That's when it occurs to me that there was a time in their life that had a profound affect on their demeanor.
Something that set them on course,forever after,in a direction over which they have no physical control..Passengers,on a runaway train of thought.

And so,I have a fall back position .
Whenever I find myself wondering why it is that people do these things,react in that way,and proceed on seemingly arbitrary paths,I remind myself that I'm a people too!..and consider those things that motivate me.

Quite naturally,there are behaviors that escape my ability to reconcile.
Heinous acts that defy comprehension..I'll leave that to those possessed of greater insight than myself.

But still,from time to time,I make it a point to attempt to decipher the story in the eyes of my brethren.
Read the lines on their brow,and walk,at least for a moment,a mile in their shoes.
I find those relatively few interminable minutes 'standing in line' with my fellow sapiens the most productive,and revealing.

..Try it,and discover those things about yourself that are mirrored in others.



'Watchin' Scotty grow'

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16 Comments:

At 3:55 PM , Blogger sageweb said...

Oh goodness..I think about the same things. I am amazed at some humans and their ability to do the things they do...and their ability to survive...you can probably walk in my shoes...I have pretty big feet.

 
At 5:15 PM , Blogger Middle Child said...

You are a people watcher... I would have thought so. Its called having empathy for the human condition. Some of us were lucky enough to be bought up with love and a sense of rightness and ethcis, and yet in a family of five or ten there will be so many different personalities and all will be different.

When I first moved to a city in my teens I used to meet people's eyes and say hello or nod - if you didn't do this in a country town it was rude...My eldest sister used to tell me it wasn't the dione thing to acknowledge strangers - she was tryiong to protect me I think.

Got me into a bit of trouble in the city because...well I was young. Now I'm not so I can meet eyes and nodd and smile. Sometimes I get a smile back and sometimes it comes when I'm low...

We have to see the people around us before we can understand. But htere are some people your gut instinct tells you to give a wide berth... and I'm sure you know who they are, they're just bloody bad.

 
At 6:08 PM , Blogger LostInCO said...

See Sling, this is why I love you!

 
At 8:48 PM , Blogger Mom said...

I love to people watch. One of our family's favorite entertainments is making up stories about people we see waiting in airports or walking down the boardwalk. we have told some wgret stories.
I love the song.

 
At 9:24 PM , Blogger Sling said...

Sage- Everyone deserves respect.
You just never know what lies in the heart of the person standing in front of you at the checkout line.
Love the great blue eye by the way :)


middle child- Looking people in the eye is the best way I know to avoid problem children.
It's a powerful tool.

Lost- Love you too doll.
I numbered you among the good folks some time ago. :)

mom- Airports have much to tell don't they!
I have noticed that there seems to be more 'goodbyes' than 'welcome homes' though..at least that's been my experience.

 
At 9:51 PM , Blogger billy pilgrim said...

i'm a people watcher too but somehow i always end up watching females in their forties these days. i'll never figure out why they do what they do, i just enjoy watching them do it.

 
At 10:04 PM , Blogger Sling said...

Billy P.- Sometimes,it's best not to reason why,but just relax and enjoy the show!

 
At 7:16 AM , Blogger yellowdog granny said...

i thought the same thing during the time that my boss made me he's source of intertainment..i'm sure he was teased his intire life for being so small...and his getting such enjoyment out of my misery is a direct result from that...but at least when he was called on it...he did a nice turn around...
posts like this one are why your one of my favorite people..

 
At 7:16 AM , Blogger yellowdog granny said...

ps i love bobby goldsboro songs..

 
At 7:57 AM , Blogger cs said...

Yes, you are a people watcher. You analyze others seeing how common we really are. All critters watch others to copy their behaviors; that's why poop rolls downhill often. :^) Our youngest pup watches the older pup and copies her, thinking this is the acceptable behavior...it's funny to see the kiddos at school bring in behaviors they learned from home, their pack or clan....what qualities did you inherit?

 
At 8:55 AM , Blogger Doralong said...

I find trying to step back and realize that we all have our problems does help me when I'm tempted to get short tempered with the rest of humanity.

 
At 11:14 AM , Blogger austexgrl said...

Alan Funt made a great living just from observing people.. geat song, Sling. I used to love his hairdo.

 
At 12:30 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

Wow, I haven't thought about this song in, like, 412 years. Kinda makes me varklempt.

Also, this is me, sitting on the virtual porch, admiring your wisdom yet again.

Is there any more beer?

 
At 6:00 PM , Blogger austexgrl said...

.....or a little glass of Pinot Grigio? Long time ago, Sling, my first glass of wine to a song like this was...of God forbid...Matuese Rose..in those little squat bottles, on the bottle shelf of a...Safeway store..or a Piggly Wiggly Store.. I am not that old...yet, you sure do provoke good memories, thanks!

 
At 6:43 PM , Blogger Sling said...

Big yeller dag- I try really hard to find something redeeming in people as a general rule,but we are limited to the hours in a day. ;)

CS- Well,I'm a product of my experience arent I!
We all are I think.
So,it sometimes moves me to postpone judgements..it's hard to describe.

doralong- I call 'em misdemeanors..
Everybody gets a grace period.

austexgrl- One of the advatages of living in California,is being able to pull world class wines off the shelf at Safeway...Full bodied,great legs,and delicate nuance for a few bucks!..no kidding.

Rainey- I knew you'd get it!
..the beer I mean.
Grab one for me while your in the fridge. ;)

 
At 1:12 AM , Blogger Speck said...

I would love to sit with you on a bench in a mall somewhere for a couple of hours and listen to your running commentary about what you see in all those eyes out there. Then we could have pie.

 

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