Friday, May 20, 2016

Week in Seven Words #291

Most of the time what people need is for someone to hear them out. Not immediately jump in with a solution, or a way to rationalize or explain away a problem. Just someone to sit and listen patiently and with a sincere effort to understand.

Our conversation doesn't mean much. All it does is swat away the silence that would otherwise creep in between us.

There's little to see by the highway except for thin trees and industrial lots. But the flow of traffic is easy, and the sun is out, so there's a light feeling in me, and the world looks beautiful.

I have misgivings about the phrase "the real you." It's built on an idea that there's some private version of you that's real, and the rest of you is relatively fake. The thing is, all of you is "the real you." Your different facets, and the way you modify your behavior in different contexts. People can be charming in one situation and behave monstrously in another; or maybe they behave with kindness across a wide range of situations. Maybe part of "the real you" is a tendency to profess opinions that you don't believe in when you're among people you want to impress, while in other situations you speak more freely. One reason I dislike the phrase "the real you" is that people sometimes use it to distance themselves from parts of their personality they don't want to think about. Or they use it to portray someone in an oversimplified way.

He pauses the TV and stands beside it to give me a lecture on baseball stats. He explains what each number in each little box means. Maybe he thinks he can convince me to stop being indifferent to baseball. I appreciate his effort to involve me in his interests, and the way he steps into a teaching role with enthusiasm. I still couldn't care less about baseball.

Having my arm used as an impromptu ballet barre.

They made me feel at home. That's the warm, lovely feeling I take with me after visiting them.