I think of a person as a complex crossword puzzle. Clues lead us to answers that reveal an individuals make-up and/or personality, and the puzzle answers are inter-connective and play off one another. In meeting someone new, the way to get to know who they are is to fill in the blank spaces on the puzzle by asking questions to figure out the clues. Pretty straight forward . . . right?
Except what really happens is when we uncover an answer to one of the clues, we immediately use that information to cheat. Let me illustrate. Number 10 across – who did you vote for in the last election? Now instead of filling in that answer and moving onto the next question, we automatically fill in answers to a lot of other spaces in the puzzle based upon assumptions we derived from the first answer. It’s similar to overlaying a pre-determined template. The fact that a good number of our assumed answers don’t fit the spaces in the puzzle doesn’t seem to matter. We simply don’t have the patience to go about the process the right way. We want short-cuts and easy answers. Who has that kind of time to devote to getting to know someone anyway? It’s also ironic that the person in question, the one you’re trying to figure out, doesn’t know the answer to some of the questions themselves. They’re still trying to figure it out.
Life is so much easier if we just use the template, because real people are chocked full of contradictions. I mean, how do you explain a man who is non-violent, but believes in the death penalty, or a woman who will donate hundreds of dollars to an on-line charity for the protection of abused animals, yet won’t give the change in her pocket to a homeless person she passes on the street? My wife likes to always tell me that there’s just as much grey in this world as there is black and white, but if that’s true then why isn’t that one of the choices on the ballot sheet?
You can probably tell I don’t like being labeled, and I have issues with people who do that. I won’t fit neatly into a box, and if you think I can then I’ll make an exception and apply a certain label to you.