Wisdom of the Ages 404

I received a thoughtful contribution to the Wisdom of the Ages project from Linda Hartmann. It reads:

What I’ve learned to date: very little actually — it used to be only
ONE thing I absolutely KNEW FOR SURE and that was: It is extremely
important how you treat other people.

I have recently added one more “for sure” to the first-and-only-thing I knew for sure and that is: Everyone sees the world differently — through their own filters (sort of like photography) which include where they were raised, whether they are male or female, what their family or significant others believed and therefore acted and treated them in a specific manner, what they were told about the world before they could experience it on their own, and a multitude of other facets that create those filters through which they look at the world. (Seeing the world through ‘rose-colored’ glasses is a descriptive and simplistic but accurate way of putting this.) There is at least one-thousand miles between the ages of 18 and 23 and that is when most of us learn this sometimes depressing information — that there is very little black and white —- only a great many shades of gray. (another reason it is dangerous for an 18-year-old to marry someone over the age of 23-24………..this 18-year-old may be a completely different person by the time they are 23-24…….scary sometimes and sometimes a happy result.)

So–I know only two things for sure as TRUTH in the context of what have I learned. I, of course, as most people I know have many, many opinions and beliefs. I had the privilege to teach college for approximately 15-18 years and one of the first things I tried to teach my classes was the difference between “facts” and “beliefs.” What A Job!!!!!

Folks don’t argue and fight over FACTS. They just are–the sun is up; we breath air; the wind is blowing today; etc. But–do we ever get into arguments, fights and wars over beliefs. My god is better than your god. My daddy can beat up your daddy. Your mama keeps a dirty house. I have chosen a much better career than you have. Money is the most important thing in a job…….in my life……..money is how we keep score………oh my…………..

Perhaps I could/should add one more to the list of “For Sure’s” —– it would be that BELIEFS create friends and enemies — sometimes to the extreme behavior of not understanding one another, certainly not listening to and not “hearing” that other, and maybe needing to kill the other.

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