|Life-changing Events: Religion and Logic
||[Oct. 26th, 2009|10:39 am]
It's true that I overthink things. It doesn't always appear so from the outside, but that's mostly because I'm a graduate of the Evelyn Wood school of speedthink. Also, because while everyone in the world is sitting around chilling, listening to music, pondering the beauty of...I'm running through seven different apocalyptic scenarios, sixteen different potential conversations, and forty-five if-then planning processes. |
Ask me how I got to a decision and I will make your eyes glaze. Yes, I DID think of every possible permutation, follow it to its logical conclusion, evaluate consequences. I'm a glass half-empty person. It's going to go horribly, horribly wrong. At best, just awry. I need to be prepared.
Despite having all sorts of first aid and other "do we have" supplies -- dental floss, duct tape, twine, leather strips, scissors, needlenose pliers, etc., I didn't have saline solution and I had a total "ah, how could I NOT have thought of that" failure attack.
People, especially if they've undergone some kind of conversion, talk about a life-changing moment where suddenly the truth (well, their truth, the truth they're choosing, or having thrust upon them) is clear and they're enlightened. Sometimes it's a series of events, and sometimes it's just a gradual dawning. Realizing that something just strikes a resonance within them.
I tried, with religion, raised in several versions, exposed to many more, deliberately dipping a toe -- or more limbs -- into a few, finally sliding into an apatheic agnosticism, mostly because the atheists I knew were so damned aggressive and confrontational and yes, prosletyzing. Until finally, one day, I thought "oh, bother. The hell with it. I don't really believe any of it." Which was a relief. But not really a life-changing moment. Didn't really have a major effect on...anything. It was like a bruise, slowly fading until finally one day, you realize it's gone. And you have a little sense of accomplishment, but...little. Not life-changing at all.
If you want a life-changing moment for me, then we go to college, where first, my computer science/programming teacher told me that I had a fine logical mind and really should consider switching majors and major in comp sci. Until that moment I had always thought I was logic-deficient, since math was always a struggle for me. But an A in the course, and her recommendation got me to thinking. And then, then, the very next class I attend that day, some management science course, I am introduced to the PERT diagram. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PERT if you want to be a geek.) Squee! Really. Omigod, that's how I think! Critical Control Points. If, then. Predecessor events, Successor events. For the first time in a long time, I felt confident on land, in a class that had nothing to do with writing, public speaking or acting. (Because, really, hel-lo, how right brain can you get?) But here I was, exercising the left, and it felt gooooood.
Anyway -- I now have an overwhelming fondness for flowcharts, the toddler of logical planning. This one manages to combine both religion (which can be lifechanging for many, but for me, was not) and logical diagrams (which is rarely lifechanging for many, but for me, was) plus it's got the funny.