19 May, 2010

Let Me Learn by Living

I hate so many things.
One of my biggest pet peeves is the attitude of those older than me - which includes a large, large portion of the population - regarding my ability to understand the world around me.
I had a discussion today with my mentor at work about politics (why? I don't know, we argue.) and he insists that I take everything too personally. I judge people in politics on my personal opinions about them. My opinions are based on hearsay, since I don't personally know the people.
Let me clarify: I don't vote based on feeling. I vote based on policy. However, I do think that there is something to be said for how I feel about someone. Human instinct is incredibly powerful. If I look at someone, or hear someone speak, and I feel unsafe? There is a reason there. If I feel like prey to a predator when I'm watching someone on television or reading their words, looking at their photo - there is something there that I should not trust. So, I research these people.
If I feel indifferent, albeit negative (indifference towards another person is just a different type of animosity, IMO), I just take in what information I recieve while browsing and gauge it on how well it's supported.
If I like a person, I still research them, but, admittedly, I have to struggle not to immediately accept the positive.
My instincts are nearly always correct. I follow them because it has been the best meter of what is right for me, so I use my instincts (gosh, feelings might be related to those!) to make the right decisions.
Tangent, sorry.
Back to the point:
To me, everything is personal. Everyone says this is unprofessional, etc. I say these people are stepping away from experiencing the world.
I put my heart and soul into my life and everything I do. I feel my emotions to the highest degree. Not all of this is voluntary, I'll give you that, but I see the world through MY eyes, and I learn from my own experiences, develop my own thoughts, and function as a PERSON. My PERSONHOOD is true and real.
So yes, it's personal.
People assume that my openness about my emotions means I can't be objective in any way. Just because I acknowledge how I feel about something doesn't mean I can't make the correct objective decision.
The biggest thing, though, is this:
Telling me that I have to learn from what other people experienced - what other people personally took from their own experiences - instead of experiencing the world from my own perspective and learning from that (because what they get out of an event may not be the same as what I do) really pisses me off.
Yes, tell me what you learned. Yes, suggest I research or tell me you think I need to work on something, but do NOT tell me that what I have learned (for things that are not fact) is wrong.
I have learned that things ARE personal a lot of the time. I have to internalize to interpret. Sometimes I'm wrong. Most of the time, I'm not. The thing is, even when someone is being "impersonal", it still affects me, as a person. How can you not take criticism of your work personally? It is a personal improvement you need to work on! It's a matter of learning to take it personally without getting upset about it. It's about learning to take it in as something to help you, but understanding that it is you that needs to fix it.

Most of all, don't sit there with your closed mind, subjective opinions and tell me that I have a lot to learn. You have just as much to learn. 
You are old. That does NOT mean you are wise. You are "older", but that doesn't mean you are right. You may have grown up with people telling you all the wrong ideas, and you just couldn't break away from those ideas. You may think you have the right idea, but it might not be the right idea for me. Your way of doing things might not WORK for me.
So, stop telling me how to live, and learn, and how to become who I am.
I'm taking it personally.