Friday, April 21, 2006

Let me tell you something you should have already known.

Again and again the two fundamental concepts are intertwined and confused when unmistakably and most startlingly, they are in fact two separate entities that work like a fraternal pair of twins- Understanding and Accepting.

Definition of acceptance:

The mental attitude that something is believable and should be accepted as true.

The disposition to tolerate or accept people or situations.

Definition of understanding:

To perceive and comprehend the nature and significance of; grasp.

To know thoroughly by close contact or long experience with.

To grasp or comprehend the meaning intended or expressed by (another).

So the general belief in laymans terms would be: If you understand something, you are bound to accept it. If you accept something, it must mean that you understand it. True or false?

Lets take a hypothetical situation for an example, even though we would fail GP doing that. Heh. If someone murdered a person, and the reason for that murder was self-defense, would you understand the reason behind the murder and the whole act of murdering itself as well?

Here are a few possible answers:

1) Pity the murderer, and with complete understanding, accept and the reason for murder and the act of murdering.

2) Understand everything logically yet still be unable to accept the fact that a murder took place irregardless of the rational grounds behind it, since a life is indeed a life.

3) Accept that murdering is part and parcel of life but not understand the reason behind murdering. (Gangster talking here.)

4) Do not know why one has to murder anyway or why there would be reasons to murder someone else. Isnt there a better non-violent way to solve all problems. (Bimbo talking here.)

So in the first answer, one understands and accepts.

In the second answer one understands but cannot accept.

In the third answer one accepts but cannot understand.

And in the fourth answer, one cannot understand and cannot accept.

Haha... From here we can perceive that the usual human being would be able to choose only from four main options of answers, which illustrates how the concepts of understanding and accepting something works differently in our minds.

The only reason why they are assumed to be the equivalent of each other is simply because they are undeniably associated with each other. But should we allow the relationship both concepts hold to misguide us into a false impression that both are identical? It is true to say that they are hard to tell apart and the lines between them are in shades of grey and diversely open-ended, but nonetheless, they are truly singular and individualistic. If one is able to see this, one would also become more aware of the impulses and inexplicable paths that the human consciousness takes in the approach to conventional matters with conventional actions subscribed to it. Most importantly, one would be able to comprehend the basis of certain incongruities of people. To put it simply, why people act the way they act, and do what they do.

The answer I would have given to the above hypothesis would be: Factionalize it into two parts of a conclusion. Step one would be to totally understand the reason behind the murder having been completely necessary for the survival of oneself. Step two, would be that regardless of step one's analysis, still be unable to accept the act of murder since murdering is violent and brutal and a life is indeed a life. Wrong? So what?

What Im trying to say is when a person understands something it does not naturally mean that it would lead that person to accepting something. I can understand Hinduism and even terrorism, but do I accept it? No.

Conversely, when a person accepts something, let's say accepts X (X being a person or an object inconsequential detail), one cannot immediately jump to the assumption that that person must have thoroughly or even minimally understood X. I can love and accept a person, but does it really go to show that I understand that person entirely? I can accept smoking and do it, but does it really mean that I absolutely understand how bad smoking is? Does it?


estelwen said...

haha.... somehow i just feel even more confused.... my brain is nt working!!!!!!!

hmm... it's been a while since i tot abt acceptance & understanding... i guess in one way or another, i tend 2 look @ acceptance & understanding as a single entity. it is interchangable but i cannot see these 2 things as separate things... they r dependent & maybe in some cases crucial factors tt determine how i look @ & judge a person.

i guess i have to understand before i can accept... let's use bird brain as an eg... i cannot understand why he has 2 go thru all this trouble 2 do whatever he did, therefore, no matter what apologies/excuses he give or what course of action he takes after tt, i cannot accept him because i do nt understand...

if there r cases where i accept smthing which i do nt understand, e attitude which i hold towards this acceptance wld be tt of tolerance.. which i will ultimately come 2 reject becos everything will fall out of place when i start questionin this acceptance....

so in e case of terrorism, i understand why ppl have 2 kill, so i accept terrorism & do nt hate terrorist... i c them as ppl who r willing 2 give up everything 2 fight 4 their beliefs even though e course of action they take might b wrong... but considerin e fact tt these ppl haf always faced persecution, using a violent method is just a way of paying back, is just a way of letting e persecutors have a taste of their own medicine... i see no fault in tt... (i'm sadistic... XD)

i c my beliefs as a accumulation of my past 18 years of experience, smthing which can be changed but these changes must be a result of me comin to understand why my previous beliefs were wrong & thus the need 4 a change...therefore u can also say tt it's very difficult 2 change me unless i faced very strong resistence or i've experience extreme emotions (ie. pain & sadness).

this is e way i c ppl too. because i feel tt their experiences r personal & even though they can b shared, they cannot be totally understood by others. i wld by all means try to respect their beliefs since i was nt with them at the point of time when they're going thru this experience. & it is also a reason y i will nt force my beliefs onto others because my experiences r different frm theirs & to force mine onto others will definitely cause much distress...

what i feel now, is an accumulation of things & conclusions i've made based on past experiences & observations. yes ppl do change... but how much? i do nt believe tt ppl will have a big change in character unless they've gone thru huge ups & downs in life. & i've nvr trusted what i see because even though eyes may be e windows to e soul & little actions may betray e person, i do know & have seen cases where ppl can hide it very well.

maybe u've seen things more than me in some aspects & therefore u haf a clearer idea / understanding of what is actually going on... but unless i c it e same way as u do, it is impossible for me to accept or understand...

but after all that has been said... i might be paraniod... hohoho

Miao said...

Understanding and acceptance have always been two separate entities.

4) Do not know why one has to murder anyway or why there would be reasons to murder someone else. Isnt there a better non-violent way to solve all problems. (Bimbo talking here.)

Not necessarily a bimbo; probably just a naive peace-loving idealist. If she's pretty and tall enough maybe she can try taking part in some beauty pageant.

QM-pest said...

Hmmm.Faith, have you ever considered taking psychology? Haha. After reading your entry, I realise tt most of the time I tend to understand but not accept.This is where confusion and conflict sets in. I think it's because I cannot make myself accept, though understanding is not a problem to me.Any idea how to solve this problem? But somehow, I think that it's impossible for a human to accept and understand at the same time.Hmmm.Anyway, nice entry.=)

Faith said...

estelwen, i wasn't talking about people but everything in general. in case you misunderstood, my main point was this: people act the way they act and do what they do because the concepts of 'understanding' and 'accepting' something works differently on them and are two seperate entities. people get frustrated because they do not see this. instead they expect people to accept and understand at the same time. this is not true. for example, you mean to tell me that after all that i have told you and explained to you, you still don't understand why i believe in christianity? and even if you understand my beliefs and respect them, does it naturally mean that you accept them? no it does not. you do not accept them. you hate christians. therefore even you practise understanding and accepting something as different entities.

first, bird brain. why can't you understand what he did? let's be honest here. you are cynical and you refuse to believe that he would sincerely go through all the trouble he went through just to apologize for what he did. your cynicism and skeptical attitude is stopping you from understanding. it has nothing to do with your assumption that you "tend 2 look @ acceptance & understanding as a single entity". The fact is, you don't trust him and you probably never will. Trust therefore is the issue here.

Third, terrorism. "i c them as ppl who r willing 2 give up everything 2 fight 4 their beliefs". ewww. whatever makes you happy. haha. :P

Fourth, "because i feel tt their experiences r personal & even though they can b shared, they cannot be totally understood by others". Are you sure they cannot be totally understood by others? It is possible, even though the impact of such experiences cannot be entirely felt 100% as compared to the person who went through the whole thing personally. But understanding something fully does not necessarily mean you have to feel the intensity of emotions that came along with the initial ordeal. In any case, even if they cannot be totally understood, it can still lead one to accepting them and learning from them. From here we can see that acceptance and understanding work seperately.

Fifth, "yes ppl do change... but how much? i do nt believe tt ppl will have a big change in character unless they've gone thru huge ups & downs in life. & i've nvr trusted what i see because even though eyes may be e windows to e soul & little actions may betray e person, i do know & have seen cases where ppl can hide it very well." what has this got to do with understanding or accepting people? what you have written are your beliefs, which doubtless influences your capability of understanding a person but everybody is different and everybody's ways of understanding people are different as well. so your's differs from mine. i don't think its a big deal or even a point to argue about at all.

lastly, "but unless i c it e same way as u do, it is impossible for me to accept or understand..." i think you took something from my entry personally. nothing was directed at you my dear. but let's make it clear here: you do not have to see it the way i do to accept or understand something. a single story can hit a diverse number of people differently. some may weep for the protagonist, some for the antagonist, some for the values fought for, etc. but does the unique way of taking away what inspired you from the story (even if what you take away is not the same thing as the rest) mean that you do not understand the story? its the same rationale as the above paragraph.

and yes, you are paranoid. lol.

Faith said...

quan min, you are just a stubborn person lar. not saying its a bad thing, as you can stand firm against suckers and shit talkers. but unless the sky fell down or the earth became square, you will never change the fact that you only accept what you want to accept, and even if people can persuade you convincingly, the ultimate decision to accept lies in your own hands. so really, only you can tell me what you can do. haha.

and no, it is not "impossible for a human to accept and understand at the same time". you understand and accept things all the time. there are so many examples. for instance, you understand why one should eat and you accept it don't you.

siti* said...

hoho.. u shld set up a 'dear faith' column.. ahahh

estelwen said...

lol...agree... she shld set up aunt agony column...
faith ur reply so long arhhhhhhhhhhh.... *grins*

estelwen said...

lol pt taken abt bird brain. i adopt a pea brain attitude towards him... besides, what he's done doesn't warrent any trust plus e fact that i've observed him since j1 first 3 mths. i adore his superficial enthusiasm but doubt his sincerity...

anyway... my apathetic attiude has led me nt to understand alot of things... hohoho... but yar... i guess i've been seeing this 2 things as what they are...

i guess e reason y i wrote such a long paragraph tt was so out of point was that i needed an explanation to what we talked abt on tt afternoon itself... oh well... it's still out of point all e same... hehehe.. opps

yes i'm paranoid & i still love terrorist.. heh...

Faith said...

about that afternoon, you still haven't given me an answer about what is self-delusion and false happiness and why. Made me talk until my mouth was dry and you just grinned, "I don't know." Hmppf.

And I only ask for your understanding about what we talked about. Perhaps even tolerance that comes out of love and therefore lasts forever. You know I don't force my beliefs on others. I don't see any point in doing so. But for those who do that, or whose intentions are such, do bear in mind the fact that they are human beings that are filled with the inclination to twist the truth and make use of religion for their own benefits. Put the blame on the people then, for their faults and flaws and manipulative ways.

But you shouldn't hate or blame a religion, even if you think it is the main reason why such people are even produced in the first place. A religion; in fact I think all religions on their own, are pure and sacred and will never be fully comprehended by men. People take whatever they can from them, but as a whole, all religions are mysterious and powerfully beautiful. You shouldn't hate what you may never understand. :)

estelwen said...

haha this is my ans... sort of


abit short? aiyar can lar... i can't think up of anything else... XD anyway, i think alot of concepts are screwed up now so i most probable can't give u a very exact ans cus i haf no idea how all this stuff works.. heh

as for religion, what if i hate it? hm... actually hate is a strong word but it's smthing along that line... but for now if i dun come into contact with it, i simply can't be bothered with it... it's time consuming. heh

Faith said...

yes its worth it.

its the same idea behind the phrase, "its better to have loved and lost than to have not loved at all."

similarly, its better to have experienced the greatest happiest than to have not experienced it at all.

does it matter whether it ultimately brings bitterness? and how would you know? i live in the present. i want to live every moment to the fullest. there's no point thinking so far because everything is all hypothetical when it comes to thinking about what might possibly happen in the future. you have no concrete answer, and neither have i. but i'll take my chances, because it makes me a happier person now. and now, is all that matters to me.

Miao said...

Never worry about the future.

It comes soon enough.