Personal Association

by Aranyakananda

As an avid Facebooker, I find great amusement in getting involved in conversations on other people’s walls. In doing so I often strike up a good report with friends of friends who I do not know. This is why my own friend list is now made up in good numbers of people I have never actually met. I have a good exchange with someone, and they send me a friend request, I generally honor it. But they don’t Really know me so it can be dangerous.

Once such person over time became offended with my general snark and called me on it. In no uncertain terms whatsoever. Which shocked me because I thought it was exactly the kind of thing that won me this person’s friendship to begin with! But no.

It seems that too many comments I had made on her wall had been construed as negative, abrasive and even rude. She told me that she didn’t know why I continue being friends with her since I clearly don’t like her. I argued that my comments on her posts had absolutely zero to do with how I felt about her as a person. Zero.

I realize it is more important to consider the feelings of others than it is to try to rationalize why they feel tha way. I could have argued my point to Hell and back and we may not have gained any more common ground on it than we eventually did. We did however drop the subject and we’ve become quite good friends again, I am happy to report. So this is not about her at all.

What it is about is how we homo sapiens can take something like a story we post on Facebook and associate it so irrevocably with “who we are” that anyone who disagrees with the story is disagreeing with “me”. This, as I have demonstrated, has great potential to damage relationships when really that relationship should be founded on the essentials of each participant. And that ain’t it. It ain’t your favorite sports team, your hobbies, your livelihood, your political stance, your nationality, a disability, your sexuality, your religion or anything else. That all comes from past karmas, and yes the further along that list that we go, the more essential those things seem, and maybe are to you.

When it comes down to it, these are all myths we tell ourselves about ourselves and cannot be so closely associated with You that you risk damaging a connection with another. It is very difficult to form a friendship on things beyond what is in the end superficial, but if you look at your relationships with your very best friends, I bet you’ll see that while a lot of what you talk about involves something on the above list I rattled off, the core of why you are friends is something deeper.

Jai Hari Aum

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2 Responses to Personal Association

  1. Dhrishti says:

    “I realize it is more important to consider the feelings of others than it is to try to rationalize why they feel tha way.”

    Really? It seems kind of counterproductive.

    After all, how can you truly honor how someone feels if you don’t understanding of those feelings yourself? If you don’t possess, or dig for, understanding of another’s feelings you’re just kind of glossing over the deeper “stuff” of that person and eventually (soon) you’re really just keeping the peace for the sake of keeping peace – which is just pretending, and can even be an act of dishonesty. You end up leaving your “snarkiness” at home because it might offend, which only results in people thinking there’s a connection when there really isn’t much of one because no one is being as genuine as they could (or want to) be.

    So… we would end up glossing over all these superficial things (which, in the right context is not a bad idea) for the sake of being considerate but would still actually be lacking the connection we think we’re preserving.

    • treadmarkz says:

      You make a good point, bhai but really what I meant was its more important to consider their feelings than it is to try to…and I meant rationalize literally…to try to make whatever they are feeling seem rational. Because sometimes it isn’t. So yes, to truly understand what they are going through is the utmost importance, more important than arguing with them over it until both parties are satisfied. You know?

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