- Education and Science
A Theory On Relatingativity
Now, admittedly, I tend to be very analytical and introspective, but I have also been clinically determined to be quite objective as well, so, I proceed. I think just about everybody feels, to some degree or another and at some points in their life, like they don't quite 'fit in', like others just don't 'get' them and like they don't really 'get' others, like they're not part of the group everyone else seems to be a part of. I say 'most people' and 'to some degree' - but for some people, that feeling of detachment can be an ongoing, defining, feature of their self-awareness, and so, an ongoing and defining factor of their life.
A countless number of things join and colloid, promote and hinder the development of who we come to be. We each have an inherited genetic predisposition, a manner in which we're inclined to behave and conduct ourselves, we each have tutors who encourage and discourage those inclinations and so our behavior as we grow, and we each have ongoing experiences that call upon and don't call upon 'this' or 'that' aspect of our human nature. So, someone might be born with a disposition inclined toward a spontaneous, intuitive approach to life, his teachers (parents, etc) might promote or prohibit that inclination, and his life experiences might nurture or stifle his natural tenancies. While another might be naturally inclined toward a more logical, well deliberated course whose parents either encourage or discourage his tendency and whose life experiences either advance or lessen his development in this regard.
The consequence of this circumstance is that everyone is uniquely different, no one has all things come together in them in just the same way as anyone else - and yet, our personalities, our disposition, the way we are, is our own particular collection and blend of just the same things as everyone else . . . so that, you find many who in childhood were afraid of the dark (not just you), many whose fear was responded to in a similar way (not just you), many who recall some particular incident of a scare in the dark (not just you), and many who yet carry within them some residue of that childhood fear and how it was dealt with, etc (not just you). But there are also some who never had a fear of the dark, or whose parents reacted very differently than most, who never had any particular incident in the dark, and who carry no residue of any such thing as a fear of the dark . . . yet they may, like you, love the color yellow or like the smell of gasoline, etc.
The point being, we are all very different yet very much alike; some are afraid of the dark, some are not but they know others who are and they have fears of other things, etc, so they know the experience of being in the dark and they know fear - they just don't exactly 'get' being afraid specifically of the dark . . . we are all very different yet very much alike. Now, there are many things we could, and should, learn and understand from this truth. We should learn and understand that just because we might not like someone doesn't at all mean that they are worthy of our dislike. When you consider all the great multitude of things that either came together or were absent from you and your upbringing and life experiences and all the great multitude of things that came together or were absent from others and other's upbringing and life experiences, it's astounding that any of us can ever find anyone else we can get along with. When we come upon those people we don't care to be around, people who just 'rub us the wrong way', we don't have to actively dislike them, we don't have to count them people less than us or worthy to be disliked, we ought simply to recognize that all the things that brought you to be the 'you' that you are and all the things that brought that other fellow to be the 'him' that he is just happened to come together in a manner that makes you not 'fit' as companions - you don't have to dislike him or even think poorly of him, simply move on.
But, the real issue I want to get to, the reason for my pointing our attention toward these matters, concerns those of us who don't merely feel like we are different and feel like we don't really 'fit in', but in fact genuinely are different and have substantial difficulty fitting in. A great many aspects about and experiences in my own life came together to make me someone who, measurably, doesn't 'fit in'. As I said, most of us do indeed feel, from time to time, that we don't 'fit in', that we're misunderstood, that we can't seem to 'get' what so many others seem to 'get' all the time, etc . . . for most folks this is a normal condition of living in community, living amongst others not just like ourselves, and for some of that 'most' this feeling can become a debilitating loneliness - and for a very few this is something we constantly have to deal with, something that we're confronted with daily, something we can never quite figure-out.
I am very much like my mother, she gave me (genetically) the temperament of an easygoing but passionate, academic-oriented but goofy, level-headed and emotionally stable man who approaches things in a very logical, analytical manner. If that all sounds like a giant pat on my own back it is not . . . I think all features we can recognize in ourselves and others are opportunities for either noble or nefarious actions, the clever or creative man can use his cleverness or creativity for good or evil, simply being smart or adventurous or passionate or whatever is not, in itself, an admirable thing - it's what we do, how we treat others and what we contribute, etc, that defines if we can be counted as noble or nefarious men. I am not promoting myself as a great guy - I am simply acknowledging what, in nearly 60 years, has become observably true about my disposition . . . I have always been an old soul, a passionate, academic-oriented, level-headed and emotionally stable man who approaches things in a very logical, analytical manner, uncommonly contented and with such a capacity to 'take things as they come' that it sometimes seems to frustrate others.
Now, after having been born with such a temperament and general disposition, my life experience took this general course; my father left when I was an infant and that piece of me, that part inside me, remained a blank until my late 40s, my mother raised me under a scrupulous training to exercise my inclination for logic, analysis, and an academically inquisitive approach, and she forever stood before me as the most intelligent, strong, self-knowing, even beautiful woman in the (whatever) room. We grew-up poor and frequently moving, I was regularly teased in school for my clothes and I was again and again the 'new kid' in school. When I was 10 we moved from the San Fransisco area to central Pennsylvania, where I found myself in an unrecognizably different world. In my teens I spent a few years doing little but taking drugs, dropped out of school in 10th grade, just after meeting my high school sweetheart/wife. I've been married for nearly 40 years, raised 6 kids, and have 12 grandkids.
And, to the point, here's where I've come from and what I've come to; when I was around 8 I was certain I was not from this planet, that my real people would return for me from the sky some day and everything would make sense. When I was around 10 and began to think I was likely an angel, sent to this world on some mission that would become clear to me at some point. When I was around 12 I began to think it was more probable that I was the second coming, God incarnate, here to fix everything. By the time I was 14 I began to think it was far more likely that I was the devil, who arrogantly thought of himself as a god able to fix everything. At 16 I started thinking I was actually human, but 'aware' . . . I didn't know exactly, or at all, just what I imagined I was 'aware' of, but I thought myself and maybe another guy or 2, like, up in the Himalayas, and a handful of people ever in history, were 'aware'.
Now, none of this silly thinking was so much the self-aggrandizement of one who is merely arrogant beyond measure - I was living in a world that made no sense to me, surrounded by people who seemed ludicrous to me, and had a big blank in my personal history and nothing stable or consistent in my life to help define my reality. I was trying to find my way, trying to understand my identity, trying to recognize purpose, etc. I recall talking with my then girlfriend (now wife) about my sense of self and of community, how not 'fitting in' felt, telling her that my life seemed to me as though all of humanity was within some great dome, that I could see them all coming and going, that I could observe their business, but that I was on the outside of the dome, separated and unable to really participate with the rest of mankind or to even really understand them . . . to me, it always seemed that everyone was all hectic and fretting about things that I couldn't recognize the urgency or significance of.
To me, the old "Green Acres" tv show wasn't a silly tv sitcom, it was a graphic portrayal of my life; Oliver Douglas lived in a community were everyone else seemed 'in' on whatever the 'it' was from episode to episode - he was a normal man living in a madhouse . . . he'd wake-up in the morning with his wife wishing him a 'happy Shapoopy Day' never having heard of such a thing, Eb would then ask if he could have the day off since it was Shapoopy Day, Sam Drucker would be running a Shapoopy Day special, and Mr. Haney would come around trying to sell Shapoopy Day mementos - his whole world was 'in' on and fine and interested and excited about something that he was clueless about. I watched "Green Acres" like it was an insightful social commentary that encouraged me that I wasn't alone, there were others out there who looked at the world like a madhouse busy about nonsense.
Now, earlier in this paper I said that I was someone who "measurably" doesn't 'fit in'; eventually, in my 30s, I was involved in a motorcycle accident that required a court case and a thorough medical examination that included IQ tests, an aptitude test, and temperament evaluations, etc. These diagnostic procedures evidenced someone who, "measurably" doesn't 'fit in'. when you breakdown humanity into general types, it goes something along the lines of 47% of people are 'this' type, 22% are 'this' type, 17%, are 'this' type, etc - I was placed in a category where .03% of the population had been placed . . . I actually, in truth, apart from feelings and objectively, really don't 'fit in'.
This was very encouraging to me. There wasn't something wrong with me, it wasn't some chronic flaw or lack, everybody's different, some are different in similar ways and some are quite different and I was simply ludicrously different - but, I wasn't an alien, an angel, or the devil, etc, I was merely an uncommonly rare collection of predispositions and experiences that came together in a very atypical manner. I always liked who I was, I wanted to enjoy others and not always be the odd one out, but I didn't want to 'fit in' at the expense of being the 'me' that I was . . . now I had objective evidence that I was not just trying to be different, there was a sound reason why I didn't like the same music and food and movies as everyone else, there was a reason I always thought we should deliberate a bit longer and debate more unreservedly about decisions, there was a reason fashion was a repellent concept to me and I didn't seem to struggle with the same emotional distress as so many others seemed to, etc, etc. I didn't not 'fit in' as in, I was a different species - I just didn't not 'fit in' as in, everybody's different and my 'different' was just a bit more different than most people's 'different'.
But, here's where this all comes to with HubPages and what prompted me to so blatantly present myself for consideration in this piece; I'm not a contented man in that I've learned how to deal in a healthy manner and overcome the trials and frustrations we all face - I'm a contented man in that I'm not troubled my the trials and frustrations so many seem troubled by. Worrying and fretting about matters is one of those things in life I just don't 'get'. It's not that everything just continually works-out fine for me, the actual story and circumstances of my life could easily be seen by many as a sad, hard-luck tale - it's not that my life is free of turmoil, it's just that my manner of living life has me, by inclination and training, to not get disturbed by things, to not get overwhelmed but to deal with things.
This puts me in a very peculiar place with my fellow man. My marriage (approaching 40 years) is better than ever and I love my wife more than ever, my adult children are fine people whose company I enjoy and who appreciate and love me, and I have friends who own a genuine interest in my well being, etc. My life is such, and I carry myself in such a manner, that people on occasion seek advise and counsel from me, they want to know how I manage to maintain a pleasant disposition and to have a family-life free of unrest . . . for instance, we all (my wife and I and our 6 kids and their spouses and children) go on vacations together - we rent a giant house at the shore, the Poconos, or near Disney World and all stay together, happily, year after year. This sometimes prompts people to ask how we all manage to get along so well, as in, this would be a treacherous endeavor with their kids and in-laws, etc.
But, here's the 'peculiar' part of this; I can't help them and they don't like my answers. They come asking how not to be worried about something and I can only say 'don't worry about it', they ask how not to get upset about something and I can only answer 'don't get upset about it'. I can only offer to others what it is that I do, and I have no trick, I simply don't fret about things because I don't fret about things. This then, further distances me from others, it actually bothers people that I don't get distressed about the things that distress them, it's annoying to people that I don't 'get' what troubles them when, to me, it seems it's not the thing itself that is so unavoidably troubling but that they permit the thing to trouble them - but, I can say anything like that because it's just aggravating to them.
So, here's how this predicament plays-out here on HubPages; I want to be part of the community, I want to participate and I have gone back-and-forth with a few theological points in the forums, etc, but, my desire is to encourage and compliment but I often find myself sure I ought to just keep my mouth shut. like; a few weeks ago I looked at a hub, I honestly don't recall whose it was, but it was a poetic sharing along the lines of 'as I rest here with you, looking at you with true love, I know it can't be and I will have to hurt you or be hurt', something similar to that, and many people commented how touching it was and how we all know that feeling, that love is hard and tricky, etc - and I don't 'get' it, to me love is actually really love and it conquers all . . . there's no way I look at my wife and think there's anything in the world that could bring me to hurt her, I look at her and think what can I do to guarantee her perpetual happiness. So, I want to participate, but I feel certain if I would have shared my honest thoughts on that hub many people would have been irritated and thought I was not being very understanding and that everybody else feels that way and what's my problem.
To me, inside, it doesn't feel like a 'if you can't say anything nice' scenario, it feels inside like a 'why do you always have to be different and you're not allowed to share your honest feelings because you just disrupt everyone else's feeling of camaraderie' . . . and, I understand that my different take disturbs some people, but in the end it comes down to, everyone else can talk but you just keep your views to yourself please because nobody needs or wants to hear your discordant two-cents.
Please understand, I am not at all complaining here about anything . . . many people here have been very sweet to me, very encouraging, many of my hubs have been very favorably received and I've even won a HubNugget award and enjoyed an 'honorable mention' as one of last year's best new hubbers - I am very appreciative and humbled by my reception here at HubPages and plan to participate much for a good long time. My point here is only to share something inside me, the way things that you all see look to me, hopefully provide an explanation if I don't comment on a hub or reply in a forum, etc. I've come, at nearly 60, to police myself and not share everything I feel or think even if I feel it passionately or think it confidently . . . I think we all do that to some degree, but for someone like me (all .3% of the population of us) that is going to be an ongoing lifelong chore and we may, I will, slip-up from time to time.
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