On Seeking a Better Fit

For my write-up today on Circle of Life: Traditional Teachings of Native American Elders, I’ll highlight something that James David Audlin says on page 61:

“If you perceive a problem in your relationship with someone, then there is a problem.  It is a modern question, not a traditional question, to wonder if there ‘really’ is a problem or if ‘I’m just perceiving one.’  Let’s say you’re married to someone you think is lazy.  A traditional person married to this individual would realize that the problem is real simply because he or she perceives it.  If another person were married to this individual, the other person might not perceive this individual as lazy.  But that only means the laziness wouldn’t be a real problem for the other person.  All there is is perception, so the very fact that you perceive a problem makes the problem real.”

I think that it’s a good idea for one to search for people, places, and jobs with which he or she is compatible.  Does that mean that a person should bail at the first signs of trouble, however?  I wouldn’t go that far, for there is no perfect person, place, or situation, and so everyone would have to bend or adapt at least a little bit, even in good situations.  In determining whether or not one should bail, one would have to decide what he or she can take, if he or she can work things out, if he or she has any viable alternatives, and if he or she would hurt others by bailing.  Moreover, while it’s not beneficial to one’s mental health to conclude that he or she will never find friends, a significant other, or a decent job because he or she has botched things up in the past, and it is beneficial to remember that some people, places, and situations may be better fits than others, I think that it’s also a good idea to try to learn from your mistakes: What did you do wrong that you could have done better?  Granted, it’s possible for some of you to look back at certain people and conclude that you would have never been able to please them, regardless of what you would have done or wouldn’t have done.  Fine.  That’s their problem.  But look at your side of the street.  Was there anything that you could have done differently or better?

Also, if you do find a good fit, be sure to be appreciative!

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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