Sunday, September 14, 2014
Valuing How the Other Sex Communicates!
COMMERCIALS AND COMMENTATORS:
Men and Women Really ARE Different
James Wright Foley
British Aid Worker
This is a precarious time in our world, and the leaders of many nations are struggling as they seek to decide how to respond effectively to the various threats in our world, and especially to the barbarous threats posed by ISIL/ISIS or whatever the latest name is.
I have viewed reports in the past weeks of the murders of American and British citizens by the ISIS thugs. First, was the report of the beheading of James Wright Foley and yesterday the report of the beheading of David Haines. I can make little sense of these actions, as Foley was a journalist and Haines was a British Aid worker. A Brit, who was there TO HELP PEOPLE! Oh, OF COURSE, that is clearly a person who ought to be killed!!!
My heart and my prayers go out to these families. I sometimes even wonder if it wouldn't be wiser for the news media to completely ignore these bloodthirsty and attention seeking gangsters, rather than place them on international news status. At the same time, it has helped wake up the world to the kind of people we are dealing with, so there is more than one way view the matter.
It was the interview of Diane Foley, the mother of James Wright Foley, by Anderson Cooper that caught my attention. As my wife and I watched the replay of the interview on CNN, at the end of the segment, one of the news anchors responded in a way that truly surprised me. Diane Foley stated in the interview that during her son's imprisonment, the Foley’s were doing all they could to find out his whereabouts and what they could possibly do to procure his release. They made the accusation that they were way ahead of the United States government in the investigation, as the FBI and others came to them seeking information they had gleaned themselves in
and elsewhere. The other accusation was
that individuals from the Executive Branch of the government made threats of
prosecution against them if they did anything to attempt to raise ransom money. There may have been more to the discussion,
but this was the part involved in this episode.
Jim’s mother expressed her struggles in a very articulate manner, asking piercing questions of American policy as well as sharing her frustration with it all, ultimately ending in the murder of her son. After raising all sort of difficult issues in relation to the kidnapping and American foreign policy, the news reverted back to the co-anchors, a male and a female team. The first response was by the woman anchor, who made an extended comment on the composure of the mother as she gave her interview. That is where the issue arose, because I opened my mouth. I said, “Can you believe that? All the issues that poor mother raised, and the most important thing that news anchor thinks needs to be discussed first is the composure of the mother during the interview?” Big mistake.
My wife responded without hesitation, something very close to, “Hey, women are interested in that, in the emotional side of the mother’s experience.” Not having learned a lesson, I chirped up, “But first? That’s the first thing that needs to be discussed?” The reply? “Men and women are different, and interested in different things.” Sigh. I’m old enough that I should have known before I ever opened my mouth. I get tired of the touchy feely news media always asking individuals in crisis how it feels…but then, I’m a guy.
This same issue arises, I notice, in commercials as well. There is some weight loss television commercial out there where a woman talks about how women always talk about how they look or what the best way is to lose weight. Then she announces that she finally got down to what really matters, and it is how she feels. Hmmm. I probably am not going to be motivated by that. But then, I’m not a woman.
Sometimes we go watch movies, and afterwards we talk about whether it was a good movie, a boring movie or what. Sometimes, especially if it is a really slow movie, I will reply, “Well, the problem is nothing got blown up and there wasn't a single car chase or anything!” That’s when she sighs. Or rolls her eyes. Or, on her good days, just ignores me.
I have noticed that very rarely do two individuals see things exactly the same. Oh, they may intersect with some things, or they may have similar concerns, but exactly the same? I have noticed this happens a lot between men and women. This is nothing new.
I love old movies (she does not, by the way), and watching them one will find the same themes played out time and time again. I especially enjoy Henry Higgins struggling with the female point of view in “My Fair Lady,” during which he asks Colonel Pickering in a mocking tone of voice (in my recollected paraphrase), “Would you be jealous if I went out with another man? Or be devastated if I showed up in an identical outfit at a party? Of course not!” A key point for women to roll their eyes once again. Which, having been involved in the raising of girls, is a skill perfected at a very young age and practiced regularly.
It seems to me that these differences are a major part of the challenge of marriage, and possibly a major factor in divorce. All too often one spouse is frustrated because the other does not see things the same way as he/she does. Or because the things they do don’t make sense to them. We forget that one of the advantages of not seeing things the same way is that we end up with a more balanced perspective by taking two points of view into consideration. With two opinions, we end up with more information by which to make decisions, and learn that there is something beyond our personal way of thinking.
Instead, we get too entrenched in our own little worlds, and become convinced that we are right and any other opinion is simply wrong. Everything from squeezing or rolling toothpaste tubes to toilet paper coming from the front or back to the way we cook, do dishes, make the bed…even identifying the important points of a new story!
On the radio while driving today, we listened to a program where an underwater explorer discussed the wonder of discovering things deep in the ocean as he has done in life.
Folks, that is NOTHING, compared to figuring out the opposite sex.
One view the whole matter is to realize that learning about how this beloved member of the opposite sex experiences life, chooses values and deals with issues that arise is the discovery adventure that can last a lifetime. You are NEVER done with that. Individuals are just that complicated. That is why when you think you have your spouse all figured out, something will happen and the response will surprise you. You don’t have it as figured out as you thought.
So instead of letting it get to you or frustrate you when this spouse makes no sense or can’t seem to see the obvious things that YOU do, why not decide it is one more chance to learn something about your spouse that you didn't realize? Too often, we try to make that person think like we do, but in so doing, we have forgotten the time tested adage: “Variety is the spice of life.”