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Mr. Palin's Foot
polydad
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.)


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If we're having a personal conversation, your pain IS relevant to me. If we're communicating regarding business, it isn't, honestly.

My blathering about community: http://www.livejournal.com/users/technomom/374214.html

If we're having a personal conversation, your pain IS relevant to me.

True, to a degree -- but if it's chronic, as it is, there's a limit to which it's productive to inflict it upon you. Unless you're into that, which I have no need to get into here.

I took a quick look at your article; I'll get back to you on it in more detail shortly. Thanks.

best,

Joel

I deal with chronic pain, too, and understand what you're saying.

People close to me have found that it's important to have an idea of my current pain level before starting a serious conversation, because it affects my cognitive abilities. Blech.

Hi --

Using this as a venue to respond to your "community" article:

A community is a vital network of relationships between individuals and families.

A nice and concise definition. What do you mean by "vital" in this context? Is the definition of "family" relevant, or not?

We are in community with each other because we know each other well and take time to maintain our connections.

Some connections take more time and resources than others. I've got a few friends with whom I have a community relationship whom I might not talk to for five years -- and then ask for a major favor. Not common, but it does occur. Part of what makes community is feeling the freedom to ask for the unreasonable. Maybe you'll get a "No" when you ask -- and maybe you won't. But you won't get spanked for asking.

We support each other.

WOuld it be useful to describe this further?

We care enough about each other to "call bullshit" on each other - to point out when we think someone in our community is making bad choices. And because we care about each other, we stick around for the aftershock of "calling bullshit" and wade through the anger and the bad feelings and keep the lines of communication open and we help each other make concrete changes.

Excellent points.

Healthy relationships are built on healthy boundaries,

I'm not sure I agree. That's one way to do it, yes; but I don't think it's the only way. I prefer goal-based structures to limit-based structures, and boundaries are a form of limit. I recognize I have some things to learn about boundaries, but I have at times in the past worked very well without them.

Regarding "keeping score" in relationships: Accounting is a tool. Like any tool, whether it's used properly or abused is within the purview of the user, not of the toolmaker.

Still thinking; more later, probably.

best,

Joel

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