One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Learning to enjoy misunderstanding

One of the basic drive of curiosity is pleasure. People gather information about things that do not have survival value or any other kinds of utility but they enjoy doing them. In college, I had a friend who was frequently visiting provincial library. The library had a compilation of newspapers collated in chronological order. Strangely, he was not going to library to read books but to go through newspaper compilation to catalogue the records of cricket matches and cricketers. It was looking to me as wasting oneself. Later, when I experienced that, the more one learns about something, it gradually becomes interesting and then one starts to enjoy doing it. In other words, there are things that we have to learn in order to enjoy. Reading is one of such things. From my childhood, I was hearing that, books are men’s best friends. Now, I know why books are men’s best friends. You get the bests of what the bests of humanity had produced so far. If you enjoy reading books, you are definitely in many ways belong to future as only best of present make it to be in future. Reading is one of the must have habits for personal development, it is why I believe that, the greatest gift that parents can give to their children is to make them enjoy reading. By instilling the habit of enjoying reading, they not only provide their children the best of the teachers that humanity had produced but also satisfy a large part of drive that come from curiosity and hence save them from the evil habits that might come through curiosity. Curiosity is the initiative force for a range of addiction from smoking to video games.

OK, enough of benefits of reading but why I needed this introduction at the first place? I was needed to clear some of the confusions and misunderstanding. Although books and other forms of writings are the best thoughts of the authors but it is not necessary that readers have the same wavelength in thinking levels, the same kinds of tastes in usage of communication tricks or the time to invest in becoming familiar with thought processes and expression styles of the authors. Our limitations both in thought processes and lingual/communication preferences create usually barriers ripe for misunderstanding. It is the limitations that open the door for recommendations and interpretations. The recommendations and interpretations of the people we trust most or close to us, also influence our understanding. Still reading is thinking and the more one reads in particular area, the deeper becomes one’s levels of understanding and it is another important factor in levels of understanding.  In short, it is important to;

-          learn enjoying misunderstanding

-          learn enjoying criticism

-          learn enjoying limitations

-          learn enjoying unfamiliar or exotic expression/communication tricks

-          learn enjoying imaginative speculations

Despite of being sympathetic to human creations, when I read that, by end of century half of current 7000 languages are going to die and over last 500 years, half of world's languages have gone extinct, I scratch my head in an effort to make a sense out of it. I am not scratching my head on why people are concerned about language preservation (It is their area of interest and I look to interests as individual's niches in the growing 'cultural forests') but I am scratching my head to make a sense of it for myself. I look to language as an expression of human intelligence. It is the most economical way of communication compared to biochemical and physical communication (body language) and it is why human can afford to create complex cultures out it. I just can read and write in three languages and have some patchy familiarity with a couple of more languages and these are the limitation of my communication skills that sometime cause disadvantages for me. Having my limitations in mind, if I get concerned about preservation of 'dying languages', what can I do for them? To me, the majority of existing languages are already 'dead'. They are 'dead' for me because I can’t afford to learn them. I can't blame the world for losing half of the languages over past 500 years because it was beyond their capacity to maintain them. When a language loses its basic purpose; an economical way of communication then it becomes costly for individuals to learn and maintain them. There is no mystery or hypocrisy in it.

Just like my limitations in affording to learn more languages, I have similar limitations imposed by nature in knowing things. I can’t know about things that are beyond my physical world (like life after death, existence of supernatural beings etc). Yes, I can imagine about them but I have to make clear distinctions between “Real world” and “Imaginary Worlds”. Uncle Einstein says, “Imagination is more important than knowledge” and I do enjoy imaginative speculations about possible scenarios for things or events beyond my physical world. There are things that are beyond my limits to prove with confidence so I can only tell, whether I “Believe” in them or Not (and that is something personal). 

As I said, the more we learn about something, the more interesting it becomes and the more interesting something, the more we enjoy doing them. If it is right then, it should be applicable to our limitations and its products such as misunderstanding, criticism and imaginative speculation :)

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