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24 June 2011

Gene Simmons Is Not Quite Like My Dad

I like to fancy myself as having fairly good instincts when it comes to people. As far as I know, I'm capable of observing what really makes people tick most of the time. Now, I don't have any idea what all the best psychologists say about the birth order of kids, parents, role models, etc. I only know what I've experienced in those areas, and while I'm mostly certain my observations don't apply across the board, I feel confident that I'm not completely off-base with my self-taught psychology.
Throughout my childhood I had an underlying assumption that all adult males/dads were pretty much like my dad. Now, I didn't think every dad was a hardcore Christian, but I did think that, for the most part, dads were practical, sensible, intelligent, self-controlled, full of integrity, wore neatly-pressed button-up shirts, and had their heads screwed on correctly. (Side note: I also thought that in order to sing well or be a good musician a person had to be one of the "beautiful people." Even back then the media culture had taken hold.) 
I don't recall how old I was when it crept up on me like ice on my nose hairs on a cold winter day that Gene Simmons (bassist for iconic band KISS) wasn't all that much younger than my dad. Gene Simmons opened my eyes, because from all that I knew about him (from limited info, having grown up in a household that didn't allow such things as KISS music or paraphernalia) I couldn't call him practical, self-controlled, or a wearer of neatly-pressed button-up shirts.
All people really are NOT cut from the same mold. I finally got it. Oh, I'd already known that in theory, but that epiphany was where the whole concept became quite pronounced for me. It was the pivotal point at which I realized diversity is usually a good thing, because the world would be in very serious trouble if everyone were like me (or like Gene Simmons, for that matter). 
I can say that and it might sound wonderfully self-effacing and humble, but frankly, my attitude doesn't bear it out. In most situations I tend to believe that whatever my personal viewpoint is, it is the right position to take. I'll bet that you do this, too. Further, I inherently seem to think that everyone who doesn't agree with me is at least partially wrong, and sometimes completely wrong. I'm not arrogant, I promise; I'm just wired to see things from my own point of view.
How do you personally go about looking at the bigger picture; understanding that you truly may not have the best answer in a given situation and you really might want to rely on the strengths of other people? Or am I just a narcissist and nobody else has this problem?


Suellen said...

I found the title very intriguing probably because I know your dad. (and mom and culture in which you were raised)
To answer your question how do I go about looking at the bigger picture; understanding that I truly may not have the best answer in a given situation and I really might want to rely on the strengths of other people?
1) Being alive more than 25 years (+23)I have observed that I am not always right.
2) Being in leadership roles and realizing that I cannot possibly do every thing well and having to depend on others who do things differently and sometimes with a better result and may impact more lives than I would be able to do on my own.
3) Having friends through the years who do not look anything like me or any one I grew up around. I have one friend who has different colored hair every time I see her. Tattoos and piercings to match. YET she challenges me so much when it comes to my Christian beliefs and practices. I have been tempted to color my hair blue or green.
4) Lastly and most importantly spending time in God's word shows me that He has worked through so many different types of people throughout the ages. Resting in the knowledge that He sees the real big picture and that He will tolerate and even embrace me for the person I was created to be gives me the patience to love and even learn from those who look or think differently than me. In His all knowing love He has given me a standard to measure those differences by and I must spend time in His word so that I can differentiate when I am just trying to make things go my way or may need to listen to the advice of another.

Lisa Laree said...

Great post...and the title made me laugh!!! NO, not at all...

Dean Lusk said...

@Suellen, I read your comment when you posted it and here I am, four days later, finally responding. Apologies. Life and restricted work networks have a way of slowing things down (and I procrastinate, which I won't mention again).

Here are my responses to your responses:

1) I realized that after maybe 35 years. You win. :-)

2) I've found that I'm a micromanager. That is not a good thing. Other people have strengths that I don't. They have perspectives that are (gasp!) better than mine. I've realized this in music as much as anything else. I love some weird stuff. The general populace likes things I don't.

3) Variety makes the world go 'round. But while we can learn from almost everyone, mimicking them isn't necessarily right. And they can be wrong. (Agreeing with you, but putting a caveat there.)

4) I think this is the key. I do not make the standard. God does. He did. And He will. And it hasn't and won't change. This one has been reinforced a whole lot in the past week with me.

In a nutshell, I think I'm learning. I know these things; just need to practice, practice, practice.

@Lisa, I hoped the title would make someone laugh. Thank you. :-)

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