Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Proverbs, and walking

I'm seeing new patterns in my interactions with others. They're probably actually "old" patterns, but I'm seeing them ... newly.

Here's one...

Them: Oh, it'll be fine for you to do it (whatever "it" happens to be) this way.

Me: No, it won't.

What's most interesting, in my internal review of the interaction, is that the truth is something quite different. Sometimes the truth of it is "Actually, it will be fine, but I'd prefer something different." Sometimes the truth of it is "Actually, I've tried it that way, and it isn't fine." Both of these reveal something different about my own process; the first makes me confront my own desires, the second suggests a new question: "Now, is it 'not fine' because it's something I can't do, or is there a solution that I just don't see? Or at the bottom line, is it that it 'actually is fine,' but that there's a cost to its doing that I don't want to pay?" Which then brings me to consider whether it's just Answer A (preference) hiding in other robes, or is there a true cost? The true solution, apparently, is hidden from both of us.

Oh yeah, now that I'm doddering philosophically about this issue, sometimes the bottom line is "Actually, I've tried it that way, and several different ways, and everything that I've tried so far doesn't work, so you need to suggest something besides 'just try it' because I've done that, and that's why I know it doesn't work."

Sometimes there's a dissonance between Them (whoever They happen to be) just not seeing things from the driver's seat of a wheelchair, so they don't have personal experience with what actually is easier and what isn't. Sometimes, though, They actually do see things more clearly than I do, and because they've been incorrect before (see above, not being wheelchair-bound and thus don't immediately know what does and doesn't work because they've tried it and it failed for them too) I just assume they're wrong. Which is, in its own way, wrong.

Robert Burns in his poem "To a Louse" says, "O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us,/To see oursels as ithers see us!" And then there's the usually attributed to American Indians saying that one should "never criticize a man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins."

Perhaps the solution is to swap moccasins with the other, and then walk that mile together. Then swap moccasins again, and walk another mile. 

You'll both see things about the other... and about yourself.

(And yes, I'm quite sure it works with wheelchairs for non-walkers... we just need someone to write that new poem for us. Poets among us... this one's for you, I think.)

1 comment:

nicole said...

This happens all the time with my all knowing able-bodied cherished husband.