Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Electric Army Butterfly Effect

I have a wild streak in me. It’s like what you might see if someone put wildfire and electricity behind my eyes. It doesn’t show up much these days—only when people tell me what to do, or what I like, or worst of all, what I think. Then my brain fires a streak of electricity too wild, too proud, and too fast to catch, too hot to change. The electric army comes to my unstoppable defense. It is the ultimate no.

I will not, cannot, change how I think.

About three years ago, a friend suggested that I try an activity he thought I might really enjoy. He wasn’t sure I’d like it. Yet he seemed to think I might. Though he brought up the subject quite in passing, hardly even mentioning it, I knew this friend as one who sees the world quite crisply and clearly and quite in his own way.

I think back now and realize that I hardly even listened before my thinking brain had my answer, reasons—why I wouldn’t be interested, why the activity didn’t make sense, why I didn’t have time, why it wasn’t for me.

Then last summer another friend, who has never pushed me to do anything, asked me if I would, for a favor, check out the same activity. I said, of course I would, and in a few days I was totally involved and having the time of my life. My second friend worried that she had gotten me addicted to something, I think. I was having such fun. The activity was almost something I was born to do. I was wishing I’d started years sooner.

I’d all but forgotten the first conversation, until my first friend mentioned it. “You were right,” I said. “I wished I had listened.”

I’ve been thinking on that. I had put my first friend in a box. I’d always thought that was a thing other people do, not me, and yet, I had put him in a box.I’d filtered what he said based on the box I'd put him in. I hate it when people decide what I think, but in essence that's what I'd done to him.

If I had listened with an open mind, I would have started having fun back then. I’d be pretty good by now. I might have made choices based on how good I got. Who knows how my life might be changed? That choice not to listen may have been an important decision. Who knows where I'd be or what I might be doing right now?

It’s the electric army butterfly effect.

I wonder how many times that electric streak, protecting my right to think what I think has caused me to decide what other people think?
—me strauss Letting me be


Trée said...

Very nice post Liz. I will read it again tomorrow morning and try and live the lesson. You have so much wisdom. I think we could be friends. Do you like snizzle? :-)

ME Strauss said...

Hi Tree,
Thank you. I will try to live by the lesson too. Yes I like Snizzle, especially shared with a friend. Usually I drink mine chilled with a chocolate swizzle stick. I only do that because I like to say Chocolate snizzke swizzle. :)

ann marie simard said...

Great writing. I will blogmark this so I can come back... sure changes from a lot of blogs. Good, clear thinking is good for everyone.

Ann Marie

ME Strauss said...

Hi Poeticjustic,
Thank you for that and thank you for coming. We'd be delighted to have you come back. It's a great group of people who hang out here and we all like good thinkers hanging around with us.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmm Are you saying we shouldnt close ourselves off to new ideas?


ME Strauss said...

Yes, E
and I'm saying that we should be careful how we present them to others. :)