Ashton Kutcher, Actor
“Vulnerability is the essence of romance. It’s the art of being uncalculated, the willingness to look foolish, the courage to say, ‘This is me, and I’m interested in you enough to show you my flaws with the hope that you may embrace me for all that I am but, more important, all that I am not.”
Have you ever noticed how backward dating is? You have two people who are desperately trying to act like someone they aren’t going to a place they aren’t comfortable, and trying to look good doing it. Not easy to pull off.
On my first date with Dee, I was conscious of the fact that the guy she had casually dated just before me had a really great car. I had a subcompact car. To make matters worse, the day of the date, my brother borrowed my car and the unfortunate tendency for the back popout window to popout for real occurred that very day. It wasn’t his fault and I knew it. Any other day it would have been fine, but having an inferior car that also had electrical tape around the door face on her side was a little tough to take.
It was bothering me when I picked her up, and I could hear it rattle as we went down the road. I decided to take matters into my own hands. I said, “Do you hear that rattle back there?” She listened and said “No.” I told her the story and she honestly hadn’t noticed the tape or the rattle in the dark.
I was the one with the problem. She was fine. Talking about completely cleared my mind and we had a wonderful date. It also did something else. It served to show me that she couldn’t care less about the kind of car I had, she was going on this date because she found me interesting and if I had picked her up on a motor scooter, she would have been just fine.
I really feel if I had been macho and avoided the situation, my nervousness could have ruined our first date. 32 years later, I am very glad that didn’t happen. She had a completely different frame of mind for the date, and the type of car or its condition was not remotely important. Her reaction to this situation spoke volumes about the kind of person she was, and that this was a relationship worth exploring.
“True love doesn’t happen right away; it’s an ever-growing process. It develops after you’ve gone through many ups and downs, when you’ve suffered together, cried together, laughed together.”
You find out the most about a person when everything hits the fan. I was not looking for a person who did everything I said and cowered when adversity reared its ugly head. I would give my life to protect her, but if we were in a foxhole under attack, she wouldn’t be hiding, she would be shooting beside me to help save us.
I have said before, she knows me better than anyone else in the world, and loves me anyway. She knows my good, bad and ugly, but is willing to tolerate all of it because she loves me so much. Each day brings new adversity or triumph, but each day also brings a closer love and understanding. I hope someday you can find a relationship like ours.
Douglas Adams, Writer
“I don’t believe it. Prove it to me and I still won’t believe it.”
Mr. Adams is known for his hilarious writing style, but this quote indicates a problem that many people have. Namely, the unwillingness to see evidence that could alter their way of thinking.
We all have value systems that it is said are locked into by around age 20. While we have the capability to learn all of our lives, there are some areas we rope off from the rest of the world and refuse to even hear any evidence that could even slightly adjust the way we see things.
We have built our entire lives on these foundations but we will not inspect these foundations for fear we will find cracks that will cause our house to be condemned. It has the same effect as a child putting their fingers in their ears and saying “lalalalalala” hoping not to hear and therefore being able to ignore the information.
I really feel this is what contributes to what is called the “generation gap”. One generation was raised to believe that life should be a certain way, and is totally unwilling to even look at a minor adjustment. The next generation is just as unwilling to listen to ANYTHING the previous one has to say, just sure that NOTHING good could be added to what they think.
A word of advice that may help. It’s simply this: Just listen. Give a fair hearing to new ideas. If you do, you will occasionally be able to improve yourself as a person. There is also another benefit. If you were courteous enough to hear someone else out, they may then give you the same in return. After all you have earned it.
Many time the truth hurts, but at least make sure you are listening enough to find out what the truth really is, instead of living by information you obtained 50 years ago and have never revisited. Just like insurance coverage, your old policy may not be adequate for today’s realities.
Be ready to gather information that makes you perform at peak efficiency. Not listening can put you at a distinct disadvantage in living your life. The truth is, after all, the truth.
“Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.”