July 4th, 2004

Mr. Palin's Foot

Got a number of good answers on the Family question; thanks all. Today's question: What are the distinctions between community, society, and culture?

Just had a talk with my Dad about how the Chief Grey Cloud face screws up social interaction, and came up with a good meditation to help deal with it. It's a simple visualization: Picture the Silly Walks sketch from Monty Python. I *think* that's Michael Palin in the sketch; feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. Now modify it: He walks into a room with another person in it, sits down at a table with them, and a stagehand walks in with a sledgehammer and wallops him on the foot. He screams. The other party at the table reacts to being screamed at; Palin tries to explain he's screaming because his foot hurts, and fails.

I have a lot of pain in my life right now. If I'm talking to *you*, my pain isn't relevant *to you*. So in talking to you, I should pay attention to you, and not my foot. Or Michael Palin's foot. Concentrating on Mr. Palin's foot is silly enough to distract me from my own pain while I'm talking to someone, or at least I hope so.

One post per idea; I'll get to the other one later. (Reminder to self: Writing habits.)