Wednesday, August 10, 2005

that nagging feeling

One of the signs that we're growing up is when we start to see the other side of an argument. It develops as that nagging feeling, the feeling that our competetor's view, the one against which we were moments ago so determinedly opposed, might contain a grain of truth.

In my youth, this realization was largely absent. The childhood I remember was largely black and white. I seem to have felt as if, by special gift of providence, I was fated to be born into circumstances which endowed me with an enlightened perspective. Friends at school who went head-to-head against me and the values of my family had simply missed the boat; parents, when they confonted me on the values of my youth, just didn't get it; and brothers and sisters can be just plain wrong.

But then, gradually, almost imperceptably, they all started to gain ground on me. They began to haunt me as I laid in bed at night, replaying the days events in my head. I certainly didn't wake up one morning and admit that, in a given set of arguments, I was wrong. Early on, the arguments bothered me more than they used to. Boisterous youthful exchanges turned more painful and labored. Soon (as behaviorally conditioned creatures always do), I found myself avoiding the painful stimulus altogether.

Perhaps we never really stop arguing our point, but for me it's become less frequent, and more muted. That didn't do me much good today though, as the ugly head of confrontation reared it's ugly head. But perhaps I can take consolation in a trend away from that nagging feeling of adolescence.

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