Love Improv #1

I love you.

No you don't.

Yes I do.

No, you don't.

Why? Why do you say that??

Because...

Because, WHY?

Because you don't.

How would you know? Do you know what it's like to be loved?

Yes, and you don't love me.

Explain.

Well, if you REALLY loved me, wouldn't you love yourself FIRST?

What does THAT mean?

It's simple: Do you love yourself?

How am I supposed to answer that question?

Just answer.

Well, yeah. I love me some ME.

Sure.

Wait! Now you're saying that I don't love myself? How the hell would you know?

Simple. Just watch yourself.

Meaning?

Here's what I see. You never go for what you want. For example, you could've asked for a raise or almost anything from work, and you don't. Why?

...I don't know. Doesn't feel like it's time.

Time?

Yeah. The timing isn't right.

When will it be right?

When it feels right?

Don't you think you deserve more? Don't you think you need to grow as a person? Do you think you're growing professionally?

What does this have to do with me loving YOU?

Everything.

How?

Because. If you're unwilling to fight and be courageous for you, then to what extent are you willing to fight and be courageous for me?

Don't you see? However you treat yourself is how you'll treat me - maybe not NOW, but someday. You say you care about other people, but you don't pay enough attention to your own needs.

You say you want ME to be my best physically, but YOU don't even care for your own body. You eat just about anything and exercise a few times a month. Your health suffers, then you complain about how you FEEL lousy all the time.

You say you want me to learn and grow, but here you are playing video games after you get home from work. And when you're NOT doing THAT, you're too busy watching TV.

You say you'd love me to make more money where I work, but you won't ask for what you deserve at your own job.

You say you'd love to live in a better place, but you spend all your money on clothes. How do you expect to move up in life if you can't save ANYTHING?

The other day, that waitress dropped a few dishes on the floor and you laughed. Anybody who's half aware could see she was embarrassed. How can you love me when you can't feel empathy for others?

So, what are you saying? What do you want me to do?

It's simple. Stop asking me what I want. What do YOU want?

Say what?

Look. The most important question you can ask in a relationship is, "What do I want?"

That seems backwards. But...wait a minute.

Just think about it. I'm going to head home. Can we meet tomorrow for dinner?

Wait a second. I want you to stay. That's what I want. Soooo....what do you want?

I want to stay, too, but I have some work that I want to get finished.

Gotcha. It's nice to know where we stand. This has me thinking about our conversation earlier about love.

Dinner tomorrow?

I'd love that.


50:30:20

[nectar_dropcap color=””]M [/nectar_dropcap]exico City. Chicago. Two researchers digging into how emotion gets expressed in human language. They interviewed young (people in their 20’s) and old (people in their 60’s). Robert Schrauf, associate professor of applied linguistics and an anthropologist at Penn State, found something unusual in his study, despite the age and cultural differences of his participants.

“I found this surprising result,” Schrauf says. “Half of all the words that people produce from their working vocabulary to express emotion are negative. And 30 percent are positive and 20 percent are neutral.”

“And every single one of these groups, young Mexicans and old Mexicans, young Anglos and old Anglos, had the same proportions, 50 percent negative, 30 percent positive and 20 percent neutral.”

What does it mean?

According to Schrauf’s research (albeit limited in scope), the language that we use to express emotion comprises a 50:30:20 ratio (negative:positive:neutral). Obviously, this is a gross generalization, but still eye-opening.

Does this mean that we experience more negative and neutral experiences (on average) in our daily lives than positive ones? Maybe you can take note of your daily experiences.

Are these experiences regional or cultural? Are they a product of evolution or progress?

If humans do experience more “negativity” on average, is that by intelligent or biological design or is it a product of the environment that we created, perhaps haphazardly?

The world is meaningless

The outside world you experience is inherently meaningless. There must be meaning-makers to give the world, and everything in it, meaning.

A slap on the face could mean anything, depending on whether you’re on the receiving end or not. A slap could make you laugh (Youtube the Three Stooges), angry, or even shame (“I deserved that.”)

But SOMEBODY must give the world meaning or none of us would survive – and here’s where it gets interesting.

Somebody gives an event meaning. We’ll call this person the authority. People watch the authority “react” to an event, and depending on his or her reaction, others mirror that reaction.

We have the original meaning-maker, the authority. Then we have the “followers” mimicing what they see.

One person is using their imagination. The other is just observing their authority and following suit.

50:30:20 – a ratio that transcends age and culture.

Questions

Are you aware that you’re giving events meaning?

Are you CHOOSING the meaning you’re giving incidents/events or are you following/mirroring what somebody else has shown you?

And if you are aware that you’re consciously giving meaning to everyday life, and YOU ALONE have that power, why in the world would you choose to experience a 50:30:20 ratio? Why not a 10:80:10 ratio?

Put another way, if language has an impact on a person’s direct experience of the world, why would you purposely choose to have more negative or neutral experiences than positive ones? Wouldn’t you switch out so-called negative words for positive words to enhance your life experience AS SOON AS POSSIBLE??

I’m interested.

More on this later.

Paul


Forgive me?

What do you do when your intention gets misinterpreted?

What happens when you hurt another's feelings without realizing it?

What's the next course of action when both parties think they're right?

Miscommunication is a chance to tell the truth. It's an opportunity to go deeper with someone. Don't squander your opportunity to get to the heart of things. Yes, it may be easier to run from the problem, or the person in the moment, but do your best to stick it out. There's growth on the other side of conflict.

Forgive.

Learn.

Grow.

Heal while you can, there's no reason to prolong the inevitable.

To all the people who I have hurt, knowingly or unknowingly, intentionally or unintentionally...

Please, forgive me.

Thank you.

Paul


Alien encounter

Last December, near Travis Air Force Base, my brother Antonio had an experience he would never forget. As he watched the unusual activity of strange white and orange lights in the sky, he realized that he was seeing something really out of the ordinary.

It's not odd to see strange activities in the sky near Travis, it's been going on since we were kids. But as he continued to watch, he became more and more afraid.

Those must be UFO's!

After watching the lights closely, Antonio began to think - what if they're warning us? Wait a minute. What if they strike? What if...

What would you have done? Would you stick around for scientific purposes, in awe of the strange scene in the air?

Or would you think science-fiction movies, and all the alien attacks, abductions, and weird encounters with humans?

Antonio thought science-fiction. As helicopters took to the air near Travis, he didn't want to stick around for an unnecessary provocation. It was time to go. He got in his truck and drove to the next town, what he felt was a safe distance away.

After playing some pool to pass the time and bring some normality to his world, the memory returned. As he drove back home, the lights were gone, and the thought occurred to him that he couldn't be the only one to see IT. Someone else must've seen this, too.

He scoured the internet for any reported sightings in the area, and found nothing. A week would pass before he told me about what happened. After recounting the events, I decided to check UFO websites for potential sightings, and found 3 of them.

One in Willows, one in Napa, and one in Fairfield. All sightings reported around the same time, in the same region.

It just so happened that somebody in Fairfield "caught" the action on his cell phone. I put "caught" in quotes because his camera work is not the best in the world, BUT this guy's emotional reaction to what he saw that night is stunning.

As Antonio watched this person's video on Youtube, he got the chills again, and told me that his reaction was very similar.

Here's the video:

Real understanding

My brother's reaction to run for cover seems justified, but at the time he explained it to me, the only thing I could think was, "why didn't you stick around?"

I damn near heckled him. Don't you realize what this means? How many people get to experience a once-in-a-lifetime event? No matter what he said, I couldn't get it.

Self-preservation trumps history, was his reasoning.

Ridiculous, I thought.

Looking back, it's hard to dispute his decision now, because now I've had time to reflect on the whole scenario.

An alien encounter is entering a brand new realm for just about anybody. I'm sure after getting over the initial shock, I'd be thinking, why are these aliens here? There are only two possible reasons: good or bad, and if you happen to run across ET, are you really gonna think good?

Nope. You're gonna think something like:

They're far more advanced than we are.

They're here to kill us and invade our planet.

I don't wanna get beamed aboard their ship.

I don't want to be some alien's lab rat or sex slave.

We don't stand a chance...

Coulda, woulda, shoulda

Humans love to compare. I was telling him what I would've done if I was in his shoes. The reality is, I couldn't be in his shoes, I'm in mine. And if I were in the same exact situation, what would I actually do? Whatever I imagine I would do is just that - imagination.

I do this kind of imagining all the time, even if I'm only doing it in my head.

Oh, why did you say that? You shoulda did this, did that, and then finished with THIS...

If [insert person's name] does this, then I'll say this, and that, and this and that....

You had the opportunity of a lifetime, why didn't you do this, and that, and this....?

Life just doesn't happen this way. You can't plan for everything, especially when RANDOM walks into your life. When reality hits, when the lights go on and it's time to perform, it's a totally different situation. To know something intellectually is NOT real knowing.

Instead of thinking what I would've done, next time I'm just going to listen deeply and ask questions, and do my best to put myself in that situation.

It's just better to listen, support, and attempt to understand than it is to show-off what I know, or worse, demean or trivialize someone's choices and decisions. I may not criticize someone openly, but I still think it, and I have no basis.

What would you do if you thought aliens were close enough to have direct contact with you? Would you stick around or get the heck out of dodge?

I'd like to think I'd stick around to see what's up. In reality, I'd fear for my life and hit the boondocks.

Paul