Skip to main content

I care

So, as I often do when I'm alone, I was talking to myself while I was cooking dinner just now.  I was recalling a conversation I had with an individual recently.  Based on the things he said in the conversation, I imagined in my mind's eye calling him an asshole to his face the next time I saw him.  Then I realized this particular individual might not mind being called that.  Then I realized I would mind being called that.  It would bother me if someone did.

I won't pretend that I've never been unkind toward other people.  I do it far more commonly that I would like to admit.  But if someone points it out to me it makes me feel bad.  It makes me want to change.  But there are many people who do not feel that way.  So I started thinking about all of the things I care about.

I realized that I want to be all the "good" things.  I want to have all of the attributes which are commonly associated with a good person, a good role model.  I want people to think that I'm good.  I want people to think that I'm nice.  I want to be perceived as kind, gentle, strong, firm, assertive, acquiescent, romantic, passionate, loving, caring, bold, spontaneous, responsible, etc.  I want to be all of those things.

Another thought that popped into my mind which triggered this was speaking to another individual about how he felt he and his partner completed each other, each one had strengths that complemented the other's weaknesses.  I thought to myself that I don't want to have any weaknesses.  I want to complement myself.  I want to be strong in every way and not weak in any way.

It sounds greedy when I say it.  And perhaps it is.  It may be exhausting at times.  Perhaps it causes me undue stress.  Perhaps it merely causes me to be deluded about myself, to think that I possess all of these qualities when in fact I do not.

But the fact remains that I do want all of it.  I want to be kind.  I want to be gentle.  I want to be firm.  I want to be assertive.  I want to be right in all things.  And not just be all of those things, but also be perceived as being that way.

I like to reflect on my own behavior and examine places where I can improve.  During one conversation I had the other day, the person I was speaking with lost patience with me.  It made me think about times when I have lost patience with students while teaching.  I resolved to be more patient with my students in class, to more earnestly and sincerely try to understand and respond appropriately to their questions.

The other day, some of my students were talking about the department chair.  They had him for a previous class and were talking about how passionate he is about math.  One of them said that he essentially talks as though math were his lover, that he were having an affair with math.  It hurt to hear my students tell me this.  I admire my chair.  He's a very good man and from what I hear a very good teacher (I have not yet observed him myself).  I know he is passionate about math.  He talks of trying to get new students to become math majors and thinks of it as an altar call.  I accept the fact that I am simply not as passionate as he is concerning math, and perhaps I never will be.  But it still hurts to acknowledge that.  I want to be the passionate teacher that students talk about.

Perhaps it is pride.  Perhaps it is the need to be perfect, to brag that there is nothing flawed in my character.  I cannot say for certain what it is.  But I cannot deny that I care.  I care about being seen as a good guy.  I care about being seen as a good teacher, a good lover, a good friend, a good scholar.  It hurts when people disapprove.  It hurts when people point out flaws.  I want people to point out flaws.  Rather, I want to conduct myself in such a way that people feel comfortable informing me of my flaws.  This is because I want to improve myself.  I want to be good.

Popular posts from this blog

What's a gainer?

If you haven't already done so, I would suggest reading my previous post before reading this one.  It's sort of an introduction and gives the motivation.  Also, by way of disclosure, this post is not sexually explicit but it does touch on the topic of sexuality and how that relates to the subject at hand.

So, what is a gainer?  I'll relate, as best I can, the experiences I have gone through myself to help answer the question.  I remember when I was a young boy--perhaps around 6 or 7--I would have various fantasies.  Not sexual fantasies, just daydreaming about hypothetical situations that I thought were interesting or entertaining.  I had many different fantasies.  Sometimes I would fantasize about becoming very muscular, sometimes about becoming very fat.  
These fantasies varied in degree of magnitude and the subject of the fantasy.  Sometimes I myself would change weight--I would become muscular or fat.  Other times, I would do something to make other people fat or musc…

The scientific method vs the religious method

I find it interesting when people cite the fact that science keeps changing as a reason to disbelieve it and to believe instead in the "eternal" doctrines taught by some church or other.  Let's examine why science keeps changing.  Here's the scientific method.

Develop a hypothesis (this means "have a belief").Design an experiment to test the hypothesis.Conduct the experiment.Determine whether the hypothesis is believable based on the results of the experiment. This is why science keeps changing--because people notice flaws in it and correct them.  People once thought the solar system was geocentric, but now know that it's heliocentric.  How did this happen?  By using the scientific method.  Scientists are willing to admit that they're wrong.  They're willing to give up a bad idea when they see evidence that it makes no sense.  Contrast this with the religious method (simplified version). Have a belief.Look for evidence to support that belief.Ignor…

Gymtimidation

Like many of my posts, this one has been floating around in my mind for a couple months.  I know many people avoid the gym because it is intimidating, so I'd like to share my thoughts about this phenomenon.  First of all, obviously going to the gym isn't the only intimidating thing in life, and many of these thoughts are things that easily translate to any other of these intimidating things.

So I'd like to share some of my personal experiences with gyms.  The first time I recall ever going into a weight room to use it was my first year of college.  I had PE classes all through K-12, but I don't remember ever using the weight room--just group sports, etc.  I recall being intimidated by all the machines.  Some of them I could figure out on my own, but many of them I just stared at and couldn't possibly conceive how it was meant to be used.  Fortunately, I occasionally went with friends and one friend was very familiar with all the equipment so he could help.  So, kn…