Thursday, April 5, 2012

Not Always Right but Never in Doubt

Possible Human, Possible Society Study, now into the fire with me.

I interviewed a woman for our study the other day who seemed inordinately arrogant to me. She presented herself as quite all-knowing. Evidently she had studied, researched and lived her life to an age of maturity wherein her wisdom warranted a flourishing self-confidence.

However, I have some expertise of my own, though I still have a hard time changing a light bulb. And, though I did not aspire to be her teacher, I found myself feeling somewhat resentful at her sounding like mine. My agenda had been about just being humans together on a journey to the best of ourselves.

What makes dancing in
harmony so difficult to
do these days?
I hope I do not appear this all-knowing way to others; not always right, but never in doubt. I fear that I have on occasion, in self-defense when my personal space has felt violated. I want to dance with others in simple harmony; lead when I am certain I know the steps to take, follow when I don’t, but mostly just walk side-by-side. 

We have a problem in this country with not honoring our elders. Women, too, are still needing to vigorously assert their rights to be treated with dignity, more often than need be. As are others, I am not certain how we can remedy these problems. However, taking a stance of all-knowing without due consideration as to whom you are addressing yourself and how – in a Bus Ride Story context, which is where I am deriving my standards – is not respectful and courteous, as I know courtesy to be.

I think we all need to work on this. I learned my biggest lessons about courtesy from Murat and the community that has grown up around him, modeling that has an ancient heritage of the Caucasus Mountains. Murat offers a beautiful word for this way of being mannerly; aleishweh. We will speak of it again, perhaps.

I regret to say I did not learn this adequately in my home or this westernized part of the world. I fear the discourtesy is endemic to our environment and spreading like a virus. We need to work on this, even those of us who know a thing or two.


  1. Ahh, courtesy.........the keystone of character and a vanishing attribute. Our society will not survive without it. Let's hope it has just retreated for a while and will return stronger than ever before. Can't live in peace without it.

  2. Ahh! Smooth dancing partners; courtesy and character, isn't that a truth that hurts to note these days.


  3. I mean "these days" when we keep stepping on toes without saying sorry.