Monday, March 31, 2008

Perception - Point of View

Over the last few days I've seen the power of perception and point of view in action. As stated in the previous post - I found out last week that one of my closest friends has been diagnosed with Cancer. This is not "internet drama" - yet someone has told me that they percieved it as such.

Sorry to disappoint.

There are 3 kinds of lies, alledgedly according to Mark Twain - Lies, Damned Lies, and statistics.

I think many of the "Lies" problem comes when one person's vision of the "Truth" collides with someone else's vision of the "Truth".

Perhaps the eye-witness to a traffic incident would say "The guy was all over the road, weaving and swerving as if he was drunk!!"

Perhaps someone with another angle viewpoint would say "The guy was doing great, a bit over the speed limit - but when the little kid ran into the road, he swerved to avoid hitting her. I think he over-corrected, though, because he had a bit of back-and-forth before he got things straightened out again"

How much pain is "pain" - for instance?

I'm gonna admit something here - and Lea is gonna get mad at me. I wasn't sure she was being entirely up-front with me.

When she told me she was having pain from her "gall bladder" - but that it wasn't "all that bad", I was somewhat skeptical. Not that she had pain!! But Lea has a high threshold for a lot of things (she eats Thai food that brings out the entire kitchen staff to see if her head explodes from the spices, for instance) - and what I was afraid about was that she was DOWNplaying the actual severity of the problem because of her resistance to pain and stubborn (yes, You, Lea!) refusal to push herself forward and "inconvenience" other folks.

Do I suggest that she was "lying"? No.

Am I lying about that? NO!!

The fact is - I could not personally feel what Lea was feeling - and I've had gallbladder disease in the past, so I know what gallstones feel like and all - FOR ME. But even *I* have a fairly high pain threshold, so I'm not blind to the possibility that what would be "excruciating" for one person is "mild discomfort" to another. Listen to 20 women tell you about their childbirth experience and you'll get the general idea.

I think this hit me strongest when Lea made a comment about something she'd made arrangements for if "the worst" happened. She thought I would be angry at what she was proposing - I'm really not sure why - but from her POV, it was something I'd disapprove of. From mine, it was a very sweet something to plan on doing for someone she loves.

I don't know how to resolve these things. One person's "Truth" is another's blatant lie - or something similar. And yet I also know that there are relatively few "Dr. Evil's" in the world. Bush and Cheney and their ilk are an abberation, not the norm.

If we can be at such opposite sides of the spectrum in terms of those we respect and care about (LOVE!) - how can we possibly expect to ever find peace and harmony with those who have proven by their actions and words to be completely 180 degrees opposite our own thoughts/feelings/beliefs - Truth?

294 days


The Future Was Yesterday said...

"Lea is gonna get mad at me. I wasn't sure she was being entirely up-front with me."
The best way I've found to "cure" that is a face to face meeting, frank, but not rude, and MOST of all, double wash your ears before you go. They will be your most valuable tool.

As for how much pain....imo, that's not really for you to judge. Unless there's a past pattern of "enlargement of the truth", the person hurts, and that's all you should need to know. I faint if I watch a needle put in me, but after I had my stroke, I fought for an hour and a half to go up the sidewalk 25 feet without that damn walker. How much pain someone feels should be important only to the individual, and to communicate to their Doctor.

BBC said...

I don't know how to resolve these things.

Hum, I guess I don't either, mankind will never become a collective consciousness I guess, and that is the only solution.

My own dying interests me greatly. If I had cancer I think I would refuse treatment and just blog about dying. Well, death really isn't a concept to me, other than getting rid of one silly body.

One silly body that isn't enjoying it here all that much anyway. And I've seen so much death that I have to look at it with a detachment. "You're dying? Well, just do it gracefully."

Hey, it's supposed to be nice here today, we'll see.

Leandra said...

The pain thing is really hard to explain. I've had severe pain, such as kidney stones, and this is different. For me it doesn't reach the level of moderate. It's a deep, kind of throbbing ache. The problem isn't its intensity but rather the fact it just goes and goes and goes. It gets wearing. The pills help sometime. Laying down helps sometime.

What I am hoping to find is something that mutes it so I can go on with my day. I suspect that's not going to happen until I see the oncologists next week, however.

BBC said...

The pain thing is really hard to explain. I've had severe pain, such as kidney stones, and this is different.

I have a wonderful pain killer, but I can't give it to you. It's a personal choice and it's my choice.

It's a bullet and you should take your own way out. I find it ironic that I think I will die at 66.

But it's no big deal, I'm okay with that, I've had enough of this bullshit anyway.