April 27, 2016

Understanding is Overestimated

Why do I try to understand people? I keep telling myself not to bother. My father told me years ago, "Kid, you're wasting a lot of time trying to understand the motives of people's actions." I just keep trying to understand.

I naively believe that if I can find out what makes a person tick, then I can understand them, the person a lot better. I can be more sympathetic, empathetic to their plights. It just never works. 

If we have psychologists and psychiatrists trying to understand sociopaths, why can't I try to understand the people I know? I guess I can and I do but as pops told me, I'm wasting my time. 

We live in a day and age where everyone is so superficial and so phony. The human race is "on" all the time. It's impossible these days to know when someone is actually being a genuine human being. I find this frustrating to no end. 

True, I smile at the grocery store clerk and some times it's a phony grin but really, she doesn't need to know I had a crappy day and my smile might appear genuine. And smiles can be contagious. For the most part of my life though, I am genuine. I am genuine and people take advantage of that. 

Why does everyone need to have a hidden agenda? Why is everyone out to score something from someone else? Where did integrity and honesty run off to? 

Even if I just try to figure out the motives of actions to the direct people in my life, I'm baffled. Why would friends and relatives lie to me or use me for something? I think I need to grow up and realize that it doesn't matter who it is, people are all the same. Yes, broad stroke with a wide brush. I've had 4 decades of this though and I've seen and learned a little bit. If I believe that all people are capable of acting the same, then I'm one step ahead. I realize the possibility of each person screwing me over and it doesn't matter why or what they do, just that I know this lets me relax a bit more. It doesn't matter why certain people do what they do to other people. It only matters that we realize that all people are capable of it. Knowing is half the battle. I won't have to wonder about motives or recount my own steps to see where I might have gone wrong. I just know.

My dad was a decent, genuine guy. And cool too. Even when I didn't know he was teaching me something, he was teaching me something. Understanding is overestimated. Knowing is the key.

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