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I've noticed that I tend to take an interest in two classes of people. The first is people who seem to have found an interesting outlook on life that works well for them. I want to try and understand what it is they found. I often find I'm changed by such understandings; often not in a particularly predictable way. I think my assumption is that I'll be able to learn something from these situations. I might get an understanding of why some life path works for someone else and not for me, I might get a more direct understanding of how I can improve myself, but whatever it is I tend to assume there's a good chance it is worth taking the time to understand others.

Another class of people I tend to take an interest in is people who are going through interesting life transitions or are trying to do something I've never seen work before. If they manage to make it work, I'll probably learn something; if not, learning from others' mistakes is good too. I don't mean to claim that these are the only classes of people I take an interest in, simply that this is one of many things that can cause me to take an interest in someone.

Anyway, I had a rather interesting conversation last Saturday. Someone asked me why I did this. Seems like a perfectly reasonable question. I started to answer, spluttered for a while and then failed to come up with anything. I don't have to have a reason for the things I do, but I had this mentally pegged into the category of things that I was doing because they were useful to do. I can certainly point to ways in which understanding others has changed me, but I cannot point to specific improvements that I am certain I wouldn't have made some other way. It surprises me that a week later, even though I've been thinking about this a fair bit, I still can't come up with a good answer for why I do this. I'm not planning on changing; it's too much a core part of my personality. Just confused and introspective.

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