Listen to Pilot Light

Saturday, November 26, 2016

"So What Does That Mean"

As part of my personal development I make it a point to watch intellectually challenging films. The other night we watched KUNG FU PANDA #3, for instance. In it the master asks Po if he knows who he is. He replies "I am the dragon warrior."

The master then asks: "What does that mean?"

See, highbrow stuff. But it got me thinking. We tell people we are doctors, lawyers, race track touts, or even admit to being writers, but we seldom get so far as talking about what that means. A doctor is supposed to be a healer, but a lot of doctors do research or even admin work, not direct healing. A lawyer is... well, I'll stick to pleasant things and skip that one. A writer writes. They are supposed to be creative, but the they are also supposed to write stuff readers enjoy, and that can be a problem. If the writer is responding to an artistic challenge it might not appeal to the reader who enjoyed the last cozy mystery he or she wrote.


Generally this doesn't matter much. Social media is destroying conversation. Try and get someone to talk about much of anything beyond the litany of their own medical woes and you learn this quickly. Moreover, my nasty (writerly) habit of asking people what they mean by the words they use has curtailed my social life considerably. People feel challenged or threatened when you ask that, no matter how nicely you put it. (And unfortunately for my social development, I know next to zero about sports.)

Still, even if I can't use this in conversation, it's a question I can beat myself over the head with from time to time. Socrates said the unexamined life wasn't worth living, but I don't suppose he ever suggested that an examined life was easy or more fun.

Just a thought.