Differing Perspectives

July 10, 2009 at 3:07 pm (male privilege, personal)

roughseasinthemed has a post up at Clouds Moving in about Impact v. Intent.  Reading it got me thinking about this post of mine and the resulting mess.  And then I gained another perspective on the whole issue.

Everybody gets taught the ‘two sides to every story’ line.  From the time we’re kids it is drummed into us.  Every schoolyard fight, every misunderstanding between friends, every applicable situation, we get told ‘there are two sides to every story’.  And you know, it’s true, there ARE two sides to every story.  But sometimes they’re exactly the same, whether both sides admit it or not.

By opening up the table to discussion on what happened, you’re also opening yourself up to hear lies and manipulations.  We are convinced from when we’re young that we are in the wrong when in an argument.  Convinced we need to be more forgiving and need to hear the other side of the story before making up our minds.  This is society’s way of grooming us all to be perfect victims.

I know there are legitimate instances of not knowing both sides of the story, of forgiving other people and of misunderstandings happening.  But honestly, most of it just lies.

and when it’s been drummed into us from the cradle, how can we not listen to the other side?  And when he says he didn’t mean to hit you, you just got in the way; or that he didn’t cheat on you, it’s just a misunderstanding; or that all those mean comments he made were just a joke and you have to see his side of it…  how can you not listen and understand and forgive?  It’s what you’ve been told to do for all these years.

I’m not a forgiving, understanding or kind person, and even I fall into this trap on occasion.  We seriously need to stop teaching the next generation what we were taught as kids.  Sometimes you shouldn’t forgive someone, and you shouldn’t feel bad for it.  Sometimes their side of the story is irrelevant, or made up, or still not good enough.

For her part, roughseasinthemed was not advocating forgiveness or niceness or anything that I’ve said here, her post was just the catalyst for a long random train of thought.

And, interestingly she has this to say:

Lack of communication and honesty ruins relationships of all sorts. It would be nice if we could trust people enough to be honest with them, to say when we are offended, to say what we really think. But it doesn’t happen. And another relationship falls off the end.

which ties into so many other posts I’ve put up here recently, it’s kind of scary!

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