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-- Edmund Hillary


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Hang on Tight


G. K. Chesterton said:

The real trouble with this world of ours is not that it is an unreasonable world, nor even that it is a reasonable one. The commonest kind of trouble is that it is nearly reasonable, but not quite. Life is not an illogicality; yet it is a trap for logicians. It looks just a little more mathematical and regular than it is; its exactitude is obvious, but its inexactitude is hidden; its wildness lies in wait.
Humans are creatures built to recognize patterns. We look for patterns so that we can know things, and once known, we can then move on to knowing other things. A smile = friendliness. A car moving toward me = danger. These are things we learn, know, and then our reaction to these become instinct and not something thoughtful. This is the efficiency of being human. It allows us to multitask. We anchor to things taken for granted that now exist on our periphery.

I've said in the past, as an axiom if you will, that anger is borne when we don't get our way. We don't always get angry, but if you find yourself mad, it's because the results you expected and wanted didn't turn out that way. The patterns we know and expect are no longer true, and our foundation of truth in the world becomes questionable.

Generally speaking, humans don't care much for change. We're not looking for chaos, but chaos seems to be looking for us these days. We refer to variety (chaos) as the "spice of life," but most of us don't have a palate for habeņero peppers. Know what I'm sayin'?

In relationships, we find constantly that people aren't always logical. They won't fit our patterns. Sometimes this is a good thing, such as when our partner appears with lunch in hand and a hand-written note telling us how special we are to them. This is a pleasant and welcome surprise.

Other times, we find change afoot in our partner or in our relationship, and we have to invest the time to get to know the change and to reacquaint ourselves with these new patterns. Too much of this will squash a relationship. Too little might bore us. We all want "just right."

People are, at best, "nearly reasonable, but not quite." Thus, the craziness inherent to relationships; our partner does what we don't expect, and vice versa. And so perhaps we try to form fit each other to the patterns with which we're comfortable, or we adapt ourselves to these new patterns. Which is why some people just opt out of the whole thing. "Too much work," they sigh.

In relationships, "wildness lies in wait." It's to be expected and sometimes it's a white-knuckled ride.

Do you like roller coasters?


by Brett Rogers, 10/13/2006 12:44:17 PM


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