One butterfly passes by, drifting upon the wind.
Two beautiful wings – colorful things – stir dust up from the sand.
Three ants march forth – rank and filed, of course – with unhatched eggs above.
Four budding blooms and five new-born ‘shrooms have intrigued a hatchling dove.

Six stones in a pile haven’t moved in a while, but they look as though they may fall.
Seven bees buzz around the flowers on the ground, collecting pollen from them all.
Eight minutes of peace is all that I need to calm my stress, and then
Nine minutes past, I see that I have found a small moment of zen.


The Fringes of Reality

Reality coalesces as an amorphous glob of events –
Quite uncertain of its intent to seize a definite form.

Relevance pulls the maleable clump to settle upon a context,
And the fringes – though still reality – lose all sense of veracity.

Where did the truth go?

Without context, a true statement may fall unknown,
For is it not perspective that lends familiarity to the context?

How do we grow to know another without first being present?
But with the knowledge of another, what was once true may prove false.

Nothing is written in stone.

On the dawn of a new day, memory may refute history
As a new reality is ushered in by a newly-forged perspective.

The old reality does not crumble, but slips to the edge,
Allowing a new truth to decimate its predecessor with context.

The fringes of reality fray.

What’s In a Friend?

After watching a YouTube clip of the Reverend T. D. Jakes talk about the three fundamental personality types with which a person cooperates in a life time, I decided to go find more information about this.  While this post isn’t one of a religious theme, the message given by Reverend Jakes was as much scientifically interesting as it was religiously.  According to Reverend Jakes, a person will encounter and cooperate with three basic personality types, which he described as Confidants, Constituents, and Comrades.

A Confidant is a person to whom you can tell any piece of information without fear of damaging the relationship.  In general terms of friendship, it is from this personality type that we find our best friends.  These are the people who you know you can trust with any secret.  These are the people who you may only get a chance to see a few times each year, but somehow you never seem to grow apart.  In terms of romance, this personality type is where the rare person finds their soul mate.

A Constituent is a person who believes in the same things you believe in.  A person in this category may not believe in everything you believe in, but largely, you share the same beliefs.  These people make good friends.  In most cases, it is from this type of personality that we settle for a life mate.  I use the word settle, not because I believe that people genuinely make a conscious decision to settle for less than they may otherwise find, but because, in most cases, people aren’t lucky enough to find or recognize that rare Confidant who is the best possible match for them.  A few coworkers might fall into this classification of personality.

A Comrade is someone who will fight beside you or work with you to achieve a common goal or solve a common problem.  Once that task has been completed, these people will typically leave your side.  These people almost never make acceptable mates and only nominally better friends.  In many respects, many coworkers probably fall into this category.

According to sociology, there are generally five attributes we use to make friends: Proximity, Association, Similarity, Reciprocal Liking, and Physical Attractiveness.  Because proximity is rather obvious and fundamental, I will not be addressing this attribute.  Because physical attractiveness suggests a shallow personality, I will also be omitting this attribute.

When someone shares some generic problem with you, the two of you share an association.  You may work together with this person toward solving that problem.  When that problem has been solved, you are no longer associated, and may therefore part ways without any serious emotional damage.  These people are your Comrades.

When someone shares several common problems with you, only a handful of common interests, but you both have personalities that the other likes, you have a reciprocal liking.  These people make good general friends, but aren’t commonly close friends.

When someone shares an interest with you, the two of you are both associated and similar in that interest.  Because an interest is typically more grounded than a problem might be, you may call upon these people more frequently than someone with whom you only share a common problem.  These people are your Constituents.  It is from this group that your close friends are chosen.

The Confidants spoken about by Reverend Jakes are more difficult to identify through psychological means, but I believe Jakes gave the best method for determining who these people are.  “When you step into a room and give good news,” he said, “stop being happy for a moment and take note of everyone else’s reactions.  If no one is happy for you, shut your mouth, turn around, and walk out of the room, because they aren’t your confidants.”  According to Jakes, a confidant will cry with you when you cry.  A confidant will laugh with you with you laugh.  And a confidant will always be there when you need them.  A confidant will love you unconditionally.  It is from this group that you make your best friends and soul mates.

Remembering Things… Differently

Persistence of memories...
Image by Parvin ♣( OFF for a while ) via Flickr

It’s so interesting to me how memories can change as you get older.  I’m not talking about selective memory or just failing memories in general.  No, I’m talking about how the details remain the same – the events are the same, the settings are the same, the actors and dialogs remain the same.  Even though all of these components of a memory remain – for the most part – just the same as when you recalled the event as a younger adult or teen, the way they make you feel about the memory or those involved changes to a different perspective.

Suppose you have a fond memory that had a few over-looked details that made no impact on you as a child or teen when recalling the event.  As an adult, however, those over-looked details make more sense.  So when you recall that memory, it suddenly strikes you as out-of-place or odd.  This unfamiliar feeling strikes you because now you are an adult and can make more sense of what really happened.  “Aunt Audrey didn’t have a headache,” you think to yourself.  “She had a hang-over.”  Suddenly, there are other unrelated memories with the same over-looked detail: Aunt Audrey had a lot of headaches.  Now, with this new perspective, you realize just how much of an alcoholic your aunt is.

I have several such memories.  The parents of my friends strike me differently.  Now it’s obvious which ones were the bedroom maniacs, which were the heavy drinkers, and which were the druggies.  These new perspectives give insight into the company our parents kept.  And with this new perspective, it becomes more apparent just what kind of young adult our parents were.

As a parent, I find this new perspective refreshing.  I’m not saying that I condone the liberal use of alcohol and drugs – especially around children.  Nevertheless, I cannot imagine trying to understand the finer details of how my parents handled certain situations without this refreshing new perspective.  I have honestly felt more of a connection to my own children because of this new information.  While I realize that I will never be Super-Dad or World’s Most Perfect Parent, at least I feel slightly more empowered to handle similar situations when they arise.

I apologize to those whom I lost in the transition from new perspective to parental empowerment.  The details are murky concerning how various perspectives provide me a deeper understanding of the mechanics behind the actions of my parents when I was a child.  All I can say with definition is that I feel as though my quality of parenthood has increased.  This stands to provide a better environment for my children as well as my wife and myself.