Your member, j_is_for_jihad , has challenged me to take the text of a recent post of mine here for the sake of scrutiny. Although a number of other people in the community got the joke without needing it explained to them, he maintains that the deadpan humour was undetectable, or perhaps merely ineffective. I put it to you for scrutiny.
For the sake of context, it was posted in the Atheism community, so there's certain assumptions made about the intended audience there.
Subject: Walking a mile in the other guy's shoes... the path to understanding.
Sometimes, we need to step back from ourselves, and our own personal perspective a bit, in order to be able to understand and identify with other people. It's all too easy to judge other people according to the standards of your own life, and your own experiences. This is a bullshit standard to hold people to, though. You need to think about their life experiences, and what factors give rise to their being the sorts of people that they are, if you really want to understant what meanings underly what otherwise might be mysterious actions.
I had one such experience last night.
There's this girl I know. A christian girl. The only christian girl I know, actually. Most of them annoy me too much, with their irrationality and tempermental natures. Indeed, last night, I was on the verge of simply chalking her up to being one and the same with this broad classification, and dismissing her entirely.
See, we've spoken on the phone a number of times (having previously only known her online), and each time we speak, she ends the conversaion abruptly when I raise some point, or use some word or phrase she dislikes. I have come to call these events her "christian hissy fits". Usually, in fact, she hangs up mid-sentence, without a word of warning or explanation. Last night was one such occasion.
We were talking about raising children, and the lessons you should or should not teach them. I was in the midst of telling her about how children are biologically predisposed towards absorbing anything an elder or authority figure tells them, unthinkingly and unquestioningly, and how, though this is actually a good survival trait for them, it has to be treated responsibly, since if they are treated in an abusive manner early on, they will tend to grow up with abusive mannerisms as their norm.
About half-way through this, I realized she had hung up on me. I think it was my use of the term "biological predisposition", which, AT THE TIME, I took to be one of the trigger-words for her "christian hissy fits".
But then I got to thinking. What if I'm just judging her from MY point of view? Perhaps I need to look at things from the basis of HER life experience?
For example. I know nothing about the emotional benefits of prayer. It's not a part of my life. She knows it and I know it. But to her, I think it's an important experience. What if... in hanging up on me while I was talking to her, she was actually trying to share something special with me?
Initially, I was angry. I was wasting my time, talking to an empty line, with nobody there to listen to me, nobody there to respond, and no hope of getting anything for my trouble as I basically talked to myself, alone, in my room. THIS, I realized, upon further consideration, THIS must be what it's like to pray!!! An experience she has EVERY day, and which she has now shared with me! I mean, granted, I don't enjoy it or anything, but at least now I'm a little closer to understanding what it must be like to be a christian. With this gift of insight, she has made it that much easier for me to be able to understand HER, which can only be helpful in future conversations... for however long they last.
And to think. All this time, I've been assuming she was just being an emotionally immature drama queen. What a fool I was!
Listed mood: Enlightened.