May 28, 2010

There's a difference between "I want to understand you" and "I want to be understanding," isn't there? I so much want to not respond out of my own desire to be seen as understanding, or able to show sympathy, but to really care about the other person.

This question of how I need people is one of the hardest to answer. I do know you are needed, I need you. And yet... I also know, and try to believe, that seeking God will not disappoint me. ("Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing...")

I keep telling myself that I need to read more of Phantastes so I can have it finished before Nationals... but I find myself scarcely reading it so far.

I've been thinking a lot about friendship... and both recognizing, and hoping to see past, habitual "roles" people fall into. Not to ignore that some people are wiser than me, nor to neglect being more of a role model to others, but... to approach people freshly, willing to see them as they are.

6 comments:

Michael said...

"but to really care about the other person." Oh! I've been thinking the same thing today, how hard is to really care about people sometimes? sometimes I'm afraid I think I care about other people when I really just am thinking about "caring" rather than really caring! (If that makes sense)

Don't worry, it took me months to read Phantastes. It's a slow book.

Ah! Habitual roles people fall into . . . it's weird when we begin to see our friends in different contexts in our lives!

I want to understand you, Rebecca. And I'm afraid that part of that is wanting to be understood.

Hayley said...

Phantastes took me a long time to read as well, and that's really how it ought to be read, over a period, experienced slowly, matching the slowness of how the "story" unfolds. That being said though, I want my book back at some point. ;P

Art said...

Yes, Hayley, I will return your book. :)

"I want to understand you, Rebecca. And I'm afraid that part of that is wanting to be understood." I've been thinking about this a lot today, and I don't think they can be - or should be - separated. (I'm thinking about trust, and how friendships have to go both ways, and I'm thinking that understanding another person is wanting to see the world they see, and understand the truth that they attest to by the way they think and feel. And I'm thinking about how understanding other people lets us see ourselves more clearly: when someone else lives in such a way that I can identify with them, I sometimes feel identified with myself. Something like seeing the same truth. This relates to what I think about fiction(!): that as I try to empathize with the characters, they shed light on myself.)

Maybe I should have made that a separate blog post. ;P

Pensword said...

I keep hearing about this Phantastes. Is it good?

on the note of seeing friends in different contexts...it's like seeing your family doctor at the grocery store. It's weird. But very cool, in my opinion.

Two natural instincts for ya.
1) Humans are naturally selfish. Part of the reason why we try to understand people is so that we can be understood in return.

2) Humans are relational creatures. We need people to connect with and talk to. We enjoy the process of understanding others.

And yes, I love identifying with characters and then finding that I've identified with myself. It's a very cool feeling, like unlocking a door and hearing the "click" sound as the key turns.

Art said...

Yes, Phantastes is very good.

I'm about a fifth of the way through... but Hayley wrote a review, of it, in a way: ambitionandapathy.blogspot.com/2009/09/you-can-borrow-my-copy.html

Kay said...

I miss you, Becka. I miss having direct access to your thoughts. I am praying for all of you nats. <3