Way way back, among the many other ways I’ve tried to drill into heads in my Internet activities, I had an idea one day.
…When you engage in political and social discourse, and you do it enough, you’ll find an odd thing. People argue about the most effective or practical way to force somebody else to behave in accordance with their own values and senses of propriety. I’m not talking about self defense, here. I’m talking about humans going about their days of life.
As a result, America is the “land of the free” with more laws, statutes, regulations, cops, and people in jail than any country on earth, including the “unfree” ones. America is more accurately a pay-to-play country, but that’s a subject for a different day.
Lots of you saw this, and lots commented: For Better or Worse: Honesty Log Time; Grace Liu and the History with “Paleo King.”
Grace called me on the phone today out of the blue. Conversation got immediately off on a wrong foot and I hung up. She called back. We started again.
It took an hour. We both still disagree about tons of stuff and completely disagree on our own takes, in terms of personal justification over various ways things played out. Reconciliation on everything isn’t worth it for either of us, probably impossible in any case. But, a curious thing happens when each party lets the other go off in rant, shuts up and listens for a while. It’s tantamount to agreement, per se:
- I care.
- You care.
- I care what you think.
- You care what I think.
- I care that you’ll be OK.
- You care that I’ll be OK.
- I wish you the best.
- You wish me the best.
If the foregoing were not true, conversations like that would not even happen. …Just to make something clear: the “sexy” talk Grace and I engaged in, that I included in my post, has been off the table for a couple of years at least, completely.
To round out my point of this post, Grace asked nicely. She didn’t threaten legal action. She didn’t threaten a tit-tat (in fact, explicitly said she’d not go there no matter what). She asked that I take down the post. I rarely agree to anything without some consideration. My demand was that she read the comments, particularly the one by Gemma, and take some heart in that. She did that to my satisfaction.
I further asked that we all focus on clarification and getting more understanding out there on gut bug stuff (can’t recall how I phrased that, you get the idea). There’s no way I can hold her to any of this, but I said my piece. I’m glad she called, I’m glad we hashed out a bit. I’m glad she asked nicely. I’m glad it’s not hanging out there forever.
Anyway, there you go. Always remember that when you have disputes with other human beings, both people can ask nicely. Both people can be gracious. Both people can get a little over themselves and let the other vent a little. Let anarchy begin at home.
The human condition is one where we’re really all just opposable thumbs, all the while regarding ourselves as pianists. — Richard Nikoley
Update: Well, the truce didn’t last long. I have permanently severed all ties with Ms. Liu: