Over the last three months, one of my husband’s former high school classmates has proven herself to be this logophile’s most vexing adversary! We’ve been playing “Words With Friends” in cyberspace, and are currently nearing the end of our 7th game. Once again, she’s in the lead by an utterly absurd amount of points and I’m left screaming , “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!”
Ever the analyst, but not before he gets a good laugh in regarding the situation which he appears to find highly amusing, my hubbie says, “Well, have you thought about how this might be happening?” This is followed by a quite haughty response, from the woman who is known to credit herself with a great deal of word knowledge. “No! I just know it shouldn’t be! And another thing – she’s winning by playing words that aren’t even words!” (As if the entire lexicon of words that exist in the world are known by me!)
“So,” my husband says, “She’s playing words that may not look like words to you?” “Yes,” his aggravated wife answers. “So maybe you should be looking at using a different strategy and stop trying to box yourself in by looking for only words that you recognize. You’re limiting yourself by playing by the rules.” His observations are clearly legitimate, but his ability to so quickly crystallize the picture is also highly irritating to me! Especially given the fact that in addition to being a self-proclaimed (and in my own world, a world -renowned) logophile, I’ve also frequently prided myself on being a rebel, which is the absolute antithesis of a rule follower. Then there’s the storied strength, wisdom, and intellect I possess, which allows me single-handedly solve all of my problems! In the words of my good friend Becky, I bet ya didn’t know that I was “all that and a bag of chips”, now did ya?
Limiting myself. Boxing myself in. These actions seem counterintuitive to the person I believe I see in the mirror each morning. Or is that merely an illusion I’ve created and which I’m both comforted and blinded by? Yes, it does, and yes it is. I think to some degree we all do this unconsciously from time to time. We focus on creating a perception of ourselves, and in honing that image, we lose sight of the fact that like every other human being, we’re less perfect than that, but also, much more than that.
We’re “less perfect” in that we don’t have all the knowledge needed in every situation. We’re not self-sustaining islands. Each of us could benefit from enlightenment in some area or another and we accomplish this only by opening up our minds and learning from others. When we do less than that, we truly do “box ourselves in”. In doing so, we don’t allow ourselves to grow and develop. We prevent the “much more than that” from germinating inside of us.
What lesson did my darling, handsome intermediary bring? When we look at things the way we’ve always looked at them, we’ll see things as we’ve always seen them. We must remind ourselves to change our perspectives, try something new, or do something old-in a new way. Otherwise we’re committing an act of insanity, doing things in the same way, and expecting different results. I don’t know about you, but the “insane” label is one I don’t want to have to work too hard at distancing myself from. So, I’m going to get up right now and hula hoop, while holding my iphone in one hand and considering my next move against Marcia on the Words With Friends gameboard !
Peace, Love, and Lateral Thinking