Friday, June 5, 2009

Does My Purpose Have To Be Annoying People?

METAL CLAY CLASS TONIGHT

Yeah, it's Friday… and for now that means I go to Hadar's for metal clay class. As usual, I want to weenie out and say, "I can't go to Hadar's tonight! I haven't done anything this week to warrant taking another class. I ran the kiln once since I was last there. The last batch of things I made was a disaster." Etc.

But also as usual, I'll go. I just hope I don't sit there and wonder what to do next. I know I'm behind everyone else in technique, but I am (again and still) going to try copper in bronze until I get it right. Hopefully tonight's the night.

Then if I have time I can fix up my few silver things and fire them tomorrow… or whenever I see the apartment again. Don't see how I'll even be home at all this weekend.

Here's the schedule:

After work today, I go to Hadar's class (6:30-9:30pm)
From there I go to pick up Gabe from Engineering class (10pm)

Take Gabe to SAT testing Saturday morning at 7:30am
Then Monica has to be in San Jose at 9:45am for a Bantam scrimmage
Then she has 30 mins to rest before she does SJ Girls 16U tryouts
Then she and I will go to the bead show
Then back to San Jose for SJ Girls 19U tryouts until 8pm
Go home, get Gabe, and take him to Dublin for 10pm pick up
Get home about 1am

Mon and I leave for SJ Girls 19U tryouts at 6:30am
Gabe goes to work in SF at 7am on Sunday
Mon has SJ Girls 16U tryouts at 9:15am
We should be home around noon

Holy cow! Do we actually have half of Sunday free?!?!?! Yeeha!

I'm really anxious to do two things: 1) Run the kiln a couple of times and 2) Photograph my new bracelets.


BEAD SHOW

Mon and I will go between tryouts on Saturday. I have to pick up some Swarovski for a custom order. And… Mon and I have a couple hours to kill anyway.

Now I have to wrack my brain to think of any of those things I have stored in the back of my mind (never a good idea) that I could "pick up at the next bead show I go to".



DOES MY PURPOSE HAVE TO BE ANNOYING PEOPLE?

Sometimes I wonder if it's my lot in life (or if I *think* it's my lot in life) to try to show people the other side of things. Is there such a thing as a natural born devil's advocate?

I do it with myself… constantly… arguing many sides of issues that cross my path.

But lately I find myself being more vocal… and going out in public (well, on the internet) to explain some of these "alternative" ways of looking at things.

Some people think if you can see many sides to an argument, you are wishy-washy… a fence-sitter. Others think it's an admirable quality. (I see more of the former and not much of the latter.)

Today I voiced off a couple of my opinions on LE. I don't care what people think of what I think, but if I can feel that by all of us sharing opinions, some of us (and I do a LOT) can begin to see from different perspectives, then I think we're onto a good thing.

How many times have I read a post in LE and thought, "Wow, I never thought of it like that."

Of course, most of the time the reaction I feel when I post an unpopular opinion in LE is that (at best) I'm banging my head against a brick wall. And by that, I merely mean… anyone who understands my opinion doesn't gain anything by hearing it and anyone who can't share my paradigm doesn't gain anything by hearing it.

My sincerest hope is there may be one or two people who lurk (read posts, but don't respond) who read all the opinions and maybe say, "Wow, I never considered so many ways of looking at this, but yes, it is more complex and not so easily to pigeon-hole as I previously thought."… or… "I never really considered THAT point of view; I'm glad I heard it because it feels more acceptable to me than the previous way I was thinking."

Shrug.

It's not my place to try to jump in and convince people I have any kind of a better idea for them, but if I can share an opinion that opens someone's mind, then I do feel I'm being useful. And for me, that's better than most of what I do in a day.

And just to show you it's a two-way street (oh trust me, it's VERY much a two-way street), here's something cool I learned from someone on LE. Apparently this is a well-known analogy, but (typical me) I didn't know of it before.

We were discussing how it's actually a GOOD thing to not enable others… as in, if you just bail them out when they're in trouble, they don't learn what they needed to get through that situation.

Now, I'm not saying it's NEVER okay to help someone in need, but I do think it needs to be looked at from the perspective of: "Am I really helping them merely get out of a one-time jam because there's no other alternatives… or am I just putting a band-aid on the problem and within a few days (weeks, months) they will be in the same situation?"

Anyway, as quoted by the brilliant mind in LE, here's the analogy: There's a little boy who sees a butterfly struggling to get out of its cocoon. So, he helps it by removing the cocoon for it. Much to his surprise, though, the butterfly is swollen and cannot fly. It turns out that the struggle through the small hole was necessary for the butterfly to rid itself of the fluid in its body and to strengthen it.

Neat, huh? Remember this one, folks, so you can tell your young adult children why you're not going to lend them this month's rent money.

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