Well, That Depends

The story: A girl goes on vacation with her family and takes up with one of the resort emloyees. He’s older, has no college education, and wanders from job to job. She sleeps with him.

The story: Dirty Dancing.

Ahh life, it’s all about perspective. 

How we look at the various situations we get ourselves into seriously impacts how we react to them. See, for example, Dirty Dancing. If you just look at the bare facts, it screams “bad idea”. But the movie itself is of course insanely fantastic, passionate and romantic (don’t even try to object to that. it is.)

In the real world, though, what would you tell your friend who decided to take up with an aimless dance instructor on vacation and lose her virginity to him? Probably something along the lines of  ”Careful. Try not to get kidnapped. Try not to get an STD.” It’s a movie though, so obviously we look beyond the potential shady factor the story would have if it was real. 

The main question in the long run is this – should you react to situations based on how you perceive them, or should you react based on how they look objectively?

That immediately starts us in on the defensive. If someone criticizes a decision or choice you make, the automatic reaction is “Well, you’re not me. You don’t understand.” And that’s accurate. No one is you but yourself, and no one can actually understand the complex inner workings of your thought process except you. BUT that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re right. Doesn’t mean they are either. 

There’s really no point to this, except that I’ve been pondering it lately. You can describe the same situation in two completely different ways, and the people you’re talking to will feel differently about it depending on how you explain it. We have a lot of power over our own lives in that way. For example, if I’m angry with someone, I always think through how to explain it before I answer someone who asks me what the problem is. You don’t want to swear up and down that you’ll hate someone forever and then have everyone asking you what the heck happened when you’re friends with them the next week.

That’s one of the things about anger – when we’re in the middle of it, we can’t always see a way past it. That’s also a good reason to keep arguments in perspective. Odds are you aren’t going to hate someone forever just because you hate them in the moment. And you’ll have a much harder time fixing things later on if everyone you know now things they’re the devil incarnate and is determined to hate them forever upon your insistence. I don’t know about you, but I always find it harder to forgive the people who hurt my friends and family than the people who hurt me. And it’s hard to remember that sometimes the anger isn’t yours to hold onto. 

The bottom line is that there are millions of different versions of the world, and the situations in it. As to which version you live in … well, that depends on how you look at it. 

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