More on Seeing People

seeing2

As a follow-up to Wednesday’s post, I’m adding another observation.

There are two kinds of people who respond to an acquaintance or loved one with a different view.

One kind changes their mind about the different view: “I never considered that angle before. I see now why someone would think that, even if I still disagree.” The other kind changes their mind about the person: “I’m shocked! If you were a decent person, if you were a real Christian, you wouldn’t think like that. ”

In other words, some people, upon encountering someone with a different view, will allow that person to shatter their preconceived notions and stereotypes. But some people will remain stubbornly committed to their preconceived notions, and transfer their negative stereotypes onto even someone they dearly love.

Unfortunately, this is just an observation. I don’t know how to encourage the latter person to see me. I think, in these cases, we’re called to keep living above reproach and hoping they eventually come around to seeing us as we are.

Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.

Honor everyone.

St. Peter

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7 thoughts on “More on Seeing People

  1. Daniel Abbott

    I don’t think your observation is true.

    Consider the following question: Which kind of person am I?

    That question can mean: What kind of person is Daniel Abbott? Or it can mean: What kind of person is Bailey Steger?

    Which way do I mean it? Do you know?

    So that one question is actually two questions. You could respond to it with anger, sorrow, pity, laughter, denial. I don’t know how you will respond.

    I have observed that people respond positively, negatively, apathetically, or hypothetically to conflicts of belief. Which, at the bottom line, is the sum of what each person holds to be true.

    Belief is the acceptance, out of all the knowledge an individual has encountered or acquired, of a specific concept or idea being true.

    What you have observed is actually the outward reaction of an internal conflict of a person grappling with two concepts that, in their opinion, cannot, both, be simultaneously true.

    I think what you are observing is reactions to a stimuli, rather than categories of people. It has been my observation that people react to very similar stimuli in starkly different manners for no logical reason I have been able to come up with.

    They’re just people, Bailey. They are not this, or that, kind of person, because of their reactions.

    Anyway, fascinating post. There were six major topics in this post, but I narrowed my response to just two of them. Aren’t you proud of me?

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    • Elizabeth Erazo

      I *think* I get what you’re saying. If I didn’t, at least it made me have my own thought! :)

      I think, in some sense, I am sometimes one, sometimes the other. I’d love to be the kind of person who always understands how a person could hold such-and-such a view, but I’m not, and I find it depends on a few variables: 1) how knowledgeable I am on the subject, 2) how knowledgeable I perceive the other person to be 3) what kind of preconceived notions did I hold on the person or the subject? Honestly if I already thought the person was kind of an ignoramus, I’m much more accepting (“oh, i can see how one could reach that conclusion if ones head was so far up ones nether regions you had no clue how the real world works” except dressed up in ~seasoned with salt~ language for my conscience). But if the person was someone I respected, who I considered intelligent and moral? And their reasoning just falls flat to my brain? That’s when I struggle, because i don’t “get it”. Luckily we can still love people who are wrong and love people in spite of our own wrongness.

      I’ve come to accept, sometimes, that it’s not my role to react to everything. Sometimes, i just have to observe, detach from the idea, and re-attach to the person.

      I hope this makes sense. It’s almost midnight here and my brains not quite “on” . Obviously went quite far off from Daniel’s point, but there you have it.

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  2. Daniel Abbott

    Bailey, do you want to understand what I am talking about?

    I know how a job can suck all the energy right out of a person, making it difficult to focus.

    Did you have stressful week? Maybe, now, is not a good time to discuss this?

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    • Bailey Steger

      Forgive my bluntness. I’ll be honest and explain a bit further, since you were kind enough to ask. It *has* been a very long week, but I often do not know what your comments mean or understand the motivation behind them. I cannot tell when you’re joking, serious, or sarcastic. Your comments often come across to me as nitpicky corrections trying to undermine my larger point (which I feel you often misunderstand). I feel a lot of condescension and patronizing in your comments towards me and my beliefs, as if you feel like it’s your duty to correct me on every single little thing. All of that together makes me very reluctant and disinterested in dialoguing further when I have no idea what you’re trying to say. This is, of course, just my perception of things and how I’m feeling.

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