Saturday, May 02, 2009

Thinking at the speed of thoughts

Every now and then I question myself if I'm being too judgmental about someone. I realize it can't be completely avoided and shouldn't be either. Moderation is the principle here, I thinketh. So, quite naturally the next questions to follow would be whom to judge, how much, and when. Maybe even why. Somehow I feel this maybe the wrong way to look at this. Instead, how about looking into oneself and defining a perimeter of sorts. This perimeter could be formed by questions like "what would the other person have to do, to /cross-the-line/". So then, you could simply keep this perimeter in the back of the mind when you meet someone and get judgmental only if he/she crosses that perimeter. I think many of us already do this, quite subconsciously. The perimeter is defined by the values we were brought up/around in. But I still feel I tend to forget this every now and again. This leads to misinterpretations and occasionally improper reactions. When I realize this later, it invariably hurts me more than it does to the other. Of course there could be other reasons for those reactions, depends on the circumstances at the time. 

I think looking at things with this angle, could help keep the mind clearer. At times, I thought the best way to deal with human interactions is to find something else that you are deeply passionate about. That way, nothing else can really bother you, coz the state of flow is easily attainable whilst doing that /thing/, and in flow, everything is timeless. But clearly, this is almost like running away from problems (more like papering-over-it). Having that passionate activity certainly helps to maintain balance, but I think dealing with another human being needs some effort and careful thought. 

Now here's the crazy thing. Malcom Gladwell says in one of his books, that when humans are conversing or even around each other, they tend to send these /instructions/ into each other, through words, body language etc. When two people understand what the other is exactly talking about, there's usually another connection at a much deeper level. These connections enable people to empathize. At the climax of such a harmonious connection, is that conversational /flow/. I find this extremely interesting and want to have this skill. But, more often that not, I end up thinking about this while conversing and as an inevitable result mess up the chances for any /flow/. It's like trying to concentrate on something while thinking about whether you are concentrating or not. It needs to be natural, almost instinctive. 

Thats is the mighty confusing part. And that is why I end up judging people, often wrongly. This sort of judging isn't harmful in so far as I can see. But clearly it's just a distraction. Therefore, if I aim to keep things simple in my head about such interactions, it should help to get into the flow of conversations.