I entered the End of the Line Tavern through a revolving door.
There was a mist inside, it was like walking through a fog.
I climbed up on a stool, it was green-padded and very comfy.
Then I noticed I had sat next to a big chap, looked to be in his eighties just like me.
I ordered a beer and said:
“What are you drinking, I’m buying?”
“A soft drink”, he replied.
“Barkeep get this fella a soft drink.”
“Thank you sir”, said the big old fella.
“My name is Dave”, I said, holding out my hand.
“Mine is Tom”, he said, shaking my hand.
“Tom, I just turned 81 and I’m trying to figure myself out, sort of old age self-understanding.”
“I’ve been trying to do that all my life.”
A friend told me:
“Self-understanding, oh that’s just common sense.”
“So, what’s common sense?”, said Tom.
“That’s a good question, Tom, because common sense isn’t so common.”
I took a long gulp of my beer.
“These comfy stools seem to give me energy that I didn’t have before I sat on them.”
“Yeh Dave, it’s like a small electric shock.”
“I’ll have to buy one of these stools.”
We both took a sip of our drinks.
“Common sense is defined as collective wisdom.
So, lets turn to the proverbs:
Opposites attract, would tell us about relationships.
Many hands make light work, gives us insight into group behaviour.
Birds of a feather flock together, contradicts the first one.
Too many cooks spoil the broth, contradicts the second one.
The point is:
Common sense can be contradictory at times and may simply be one person’s point of view.”
“Wow! That’s interesting, Dave. So, what are the ways to get self-understanding?”
“Two ways, Tom, Introspection and Self-Perception.
Lets take Introspection first.
It’s the process of looking inwards at your internal states, such as thoughts and feelings.”
“I always have problems being introspective.”
“No wonder, Tom, there’s three big problems with introspection.
First, we are constantly processing so much into at the same time that we really don’t know which into is causing our thoughts and behaviours.
Second, we overestimate our positive attributes.
The other day I was asked to rate my looks, I said:
“Oh, I am definitely “over average.”
Now that doesn’t really mean much, what’s average?
Three, for self-protective reasons we drive bad thoughts and experiences out of our heads.
So, how can we learn from our bad experiences?”
Self-Perception, what’s that all about, Dave?”
Tom was eager for education. The stools were working their MAGIC!
“It has to do with one’s observation of one’s actions from this we could deduce how we feel and what we are thinking and who we are.”
“Is there any problem with self-perception?”
“Yes, the problem is “CONTEXT”, the circumstances under which the action occurs.”
“Can you give me an example?”
“If you went to the theatre because your wife wanted you to, you wouldn’t say you were a theatre lover.
But…if you went on your own volition or by yourself, then you could call yourself a theatre lover.
It’s the CONTEXT that matters.”
We both finished our drinks.
“Well Tom, I’ve got to be going now.”
“I’m going as well, Dave.”
As we left the tavern, I said:
“Talking to you Tom I feel like I’ve known you all my life.”
“Ditto for me, Dave, hope to see you again.”
Out into the sunshine we went–two old men facing life with a SMILE!!!