GRADUATION!! (Grad School)

Sunday, May 1

Interpretations

I blog in the shower.

Not literally of course, but, as I stand under the hot water, my mind clears and flits from topic to topic. Unfortunately, the epics I compose in the shower rarely appear here among my blog posts. Usually because once I am out of the shower I have very little time to sit and write down my thoughts. Today, though, is a lazy day with a lazy shower. There was even singing, slow church hymns that reverberate off the walls of the bathroom and echo through the soul. In my laziness I have time to throw my thoughts out into the universe.

As the hot water beat down on my hair I began to brush my teeth (I figure I can justify longer showers if I include brushing my teeth. ;) ) and was reminded of a memory from decades ago. I remember standing at the sink with my Grandpa Rocky watching him brush his teeth. I couldn't have been more than 8 or 9 and was in awe at the amount of white toothpaste that covered his lips. Since I was just a child, I assumed that this is what happened when grown ups brushed their teeth and began to try to achieve the same result. I even remember resorting to wiping toothpaste on my lips so I could look more grown up.

This memory brought to mind the endless discussions from this semesters Lit class on interpretation. Our individual experiences effect how we view the world. And not only personal experiences but communal ones as well. I will never understand completely the horrors of Pearl Harbor or the fear of McCarthyism just like a child born this year will never comprehend the loss and fear America suffered on 9/11. Books are written, movies are made, and songs are dedicated to the experiences but that effect is not the same. My choices will forever reflect the experiences of my life.

Even among a society or a family for instance, events can cause different interpretations. For example, I am one of 12 children who were raised by my mother and step-father. As my memory is so faulty, I often call my siblings for clarification on events of our past. Interestingly enough, 1 event can have 12 different interpretations. AND each interpretation effects the individual differently. The situation of my childhood has influenced my choices throughout my life. Yet my sister, who is only older than me by 16 months, has been influenced in ways that I never have. While we shared many of the same experiences, our responses were vastly different. No judgement is placed on either of our choices, they are just different.

Therefore with all of these different interpretations how can we function as a whole? Can we as a society work towards the common good? How will we be able to define what is good among all of the interpretations?

As children we look to our elders to define what is right and wrong and to guide us in our actions. As students we look to our teachers to teach us the facts. As adults we find our guidance in many things. I personally, rely on my faith in Heavenly Father, as well as the knowledge I have gained through my life to guide my choices. But I fully recognize that not everyone believes as I do. My only hope is that tolerance can prevail to help us understand and accept the differences that make each individual unique.

1 comment:

Soarenth said...

I miss this kind of shower time! I've let shower time become a checklist time; thinking about what has to be done before I can next sleep. Your way is a MUCH more productive and enjoyable use of that time. Thank you for the reminder of how fascinating things can be if the time is taken to think on them.

The only downside is now wondering what other fascinating posts have not happened because you didn't have the time to write them after composing them in the shower. Your contemplations would be sought daily if they were available that often. Ah, well. Thank you for this nugget!