It’s always interesting when someone tries to convince another that they are wrong.
From a psychological perspective, one’s personal experiences are how idea and
opinion are shaped, so not up for debate. It is quite common to know a truth but
have a different interpretation of that truth. Interestingly enough, when someone
argues that another’s perspective is ‘wrong’ or ‘inaccurate’ or ‘full of shit’, they
are sharing their own uncertainties. As the adage relates: Misery loves company.
To say, for example, that all people of a given time or place were one-thing,
is to neatly place the human experience in a box. It is to rely solely on what
historians tell us. Perhaps when history looks back upon the beginning of this
four year period, they may say “All Americans supported Trump”.
Clearly, living as we are at this time, we know this to be incorrect;
yet those who read the words of historians will consider all of us as a singular mind.
There is no all-or-nothing. The world – let alone humans – are not so ‘neat’,
not so orderly, to be either/or. Simply put, there are those who demand action
over introspection, who demand that others ‘get over it’ and ‘get in line’ with the
general narrative. But what is really being said is that those ‘others’ follow the
neat view of the world; and where they do not, they are deemed ‘trouble-makers’
or ‘idiots’. Some relish labels and boxes moreso than others; always seeking to
define, apply, and stuff into a compartment that which they themselves have
yet to realize. And because such ideas and actions are not truly their own,
feel compelled to defend them by condemning others as ‘outsiders’ and ‘misfits’
by berating them and convincing others to also berate them. (On the internet,
this is called ‘trolling’.)
Speaking personally (as only any of us can), I live in a post-modern and
post-structural world. Human culture is often defined as structured (language, math),
yet is actually fluid. While living in Germany, learning to speak the language,
I came to realize that not all Germans speak German. There exist pronounced
dialects that, even amongst native speakers, are barely recognizable.
So to insist upon the comfort-zone that, in any given time period, everyone
spoke the same language, is irrational. Another example from the world today:
There exist liberal, fundamental, even radical interpretations of Christianity, Islam,
even Heathenry, but does holding any one stance make one any less than that
which is self-identified with?
Teasing out a thread from a tapestry – to call it ‘not part of the whole’ – is
re-acting structurally. Those who choose to disregard other options,
simply need to understand their world in a defined space.
Whereas others have long since realized that such space is confining;
and akin to Plato’s Cave, recognize that commonly accepted education
fails to factor human nature.
As a #SeidHistorian and #SeidWoman, it’s not that I ‘change’ history to
suit my perspective, so much as I am unconstrained by the traditional and
systematized perspective. A narrative I perceive as constraining.
As such, I further recognize a need for a metalanguage, because concepts
do not need to be clearly defined to be meaningful. Consider the #Runes here –
or specifically, the manner in which I read them – they are symbols that represent
(and in some cases replace) words, phrases, and ideas. Simply put:
There are no sharp boundaries, but meanings that flow and ripple off each other.
As much as many tend to adhere to rules, there will always be words that
convey different meanings to different individuals based on their particular experience.
So, where some stand firm on their interpretation, insisting even that others ‘follow suit’
and ‘see the truth’, what they are truly doing is insisting that others accept their personal
authority, and through argumentation, their sense of personal legitimacy.
Meanwhile, those ‘others’ (as a #WolfWoman, I am most certainly Other)
require no external validation to be comfortable with personal experience and interpretation.
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Primary Photo: Alice Posluszna