Because all experiences are valuable.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day

Please, Lord, I hope I spelled Independence correctly.

Generally, I am a very good speller, but there are a few words I commonly misspell and that is one of them. Why do I want to put in an "a"? Maybe because I was a dancer for so many years. I want it to be independance.

I should not be up at four am, and this isn't going to make a lot of sense most likely. Today, which was yesterday, I declared my independence. It seems there is a lot of independence going around. People sloughing off the chains of whatever monarchy currently governs them. It's all a bad system, this idea, this need we have to control others. It doesn't really work anyway. People just go underground.

Guy and I had another wonderful talk at dinner. I find Zaxby's restaurant to be incredibly conducive to good talks. He gave me an analogy that fascinated me, that I think I need to spend some time turning over in my head. I have never played the game World of Warcraft, but with two teenage boys and friends, it would be hard to escape altogether. Guy explained that sometimes you will come across a rare item, or maybe it was for every item, or maybe when two players want the same item, but anyway, you get a choice to say, "need," or "greed." Meaning you are kinda on the honor system to say whether you really need the item to advance your character or game, or you just want it to sell or for its rarity. He said most people are pretty honest in which button they choose, but some people are just jerks and will press need when it really is greed. He was telling me that it seems that some people in life have their finger stuck on the Need button. They have lost their ability to discern their true needs.

This reminds me of one of the ten commandments. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's possessions. I have read a lot of arguments over the years as to what exactly it means to covet, and what might be the closest to the original a
Aramaic translation. Ultimately I decided the best definition I ever heard was that to covet was not just to desire what someone else has, but to equally desire that they not have it as well. To envy means to want what the other has, but it seems that you could still be happy they had it, too. Then you are equals. But to covet...a whole 'nother ballgame. It would be hard to make envy a sin...we are created that way to a large extent. It motivates us. But I can surely see why covetousness is hugely detrimental to all parties. A wise commandment.

I don't think I am stuck on the "need" button, but I'm going to take an inventory of myself and see how many of the things I need, for example, in a relationship, are true needs, and if any are just greed. Greed for attention, greed for reassurance, greed for things to be my way, greed to have my space and right to "be myself" all the time. I really think I'm doing pretty well, but sinking into the comfy armchair of I'm doing good enough can be awfully tempting.

My Independence is almost the most important thing to me right now- in terms of making all my own choices for my own reasons. I am often torn between being an extremely giving person (just shy of a doormat at times), and being a "take me as I am or walk away" person. I haven't quite settled my boundaries of give and take. Sometimes I just stand there letting everyone else push the need button over and over without ever pushing it myself.

I really want to be a complete part of the action, and not just bitch about hating the game. So for now, I'll try hopping up on the middle of the seesaw and standing firm, learning to balance...need vs greed, dependence vs. independence.

What's the worst that could happen?

Happy Independence Day!


  1. I agree with Charles, blogging does suit you. Your thoughts really are compelling and, in a good way, provocative.

    At what point does suppressing the real you in favor of the comfort of others become letting others control you? I think it's important to be comfortable in your own skin without ruining the human experience for others, and that it's entirely possible to do so without sacrificing your personal nature.

    So maybe it is a balancing act after all. hmm...

  2. Yeah! Lots of room on that see-saw. Send me your email?

  3. thanks, Charlie. I've always respected your intelligence, worldliness, and awareness.

    Drew!!! thanks as well. When do we get to have lunch or something?

    Jim, how would I do that without posting it for all to see? Is there a secret?

  4. Well, I sent you a couple of emails through google connect, so I'm guessing you didn't get them, but I figured you'd then have mine and I'd get yours when you responded...but apparently I'm missing something here or you are.

  5. To elaborate further, because you are a Wrinkledman follower, I can click on your icon and send you a note which reveals my email to you. That's what I did.