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Three Day Post

What was the question?

Always with the questions.

If you have the dubious pleasure of being my friend on Facebook, you know I often ask questions whose answers form the (basis, proof, antithesis) of a post on The M3 Blog.

The reason this post has this name is because I want to start a long discussion in which you get others involved. No one will be signed up for email shenanigans in the process. I just want some honest feedback from you and some of your friends who may not be my friends.

Issue

I posed a question to 15 men. No, I rarely segregate men and women for questioning, even when the matter is sexist. In this particular instance, my audience was comprised of only men. The query:

Describe the three most important things in your life.”

I thought the query was particularly straightforward. It is one I have posed to countless people over the years. For the first time, I ran into resistance.

First Results

oneThe majority refused to answer the question at all. Some just laughed it off. A couple asked what the question really meant. My snarky answer was, as always, “It is written in your native tongue.” One told me it was none of my business.

The few who attempted to answer gave me three one-word answers. I chalked it up to comprehension skills. When I asked for more detail, the resistance increased. One is going to get back to me with the answers after having to think about how to word it appropriately.

Defense

  1. Why do you want to know?
  2. That says it all.
  3. Is this a test?

1. Because I am curious why you are the way you are and if it will cause problems in our ability to communicate later.

2. Hardly.

3. Yes, indubitably.

If you were here for the Saturday Evening Post, you know I posed this query to those who are willing (in the non-rabid group) to chat in an online-dating community. I found the resistance to identify perplexing, to be sublimely understated.

I Married An Abductee.First, why in the world would you want even a transient relationship with someone with whom you share no common ground? Is the societal judgment on prostitution so high people resort to finding sex on the web as a replacement for the emotional costs of a traditional relationship and the monetary costs of a professional one?

Second, if you cannot tell me how or why anything is important, I am firm in both my positions you have no idea why or how it is important and you are guessing what will be the “right answer”. (Silly rabbit! There are no right answers.)

Third, absostinkinglutely. How can you sit across the table from someone who knows zero about you?

Second Results

number 2I asked my FB friends, who range from virtual friends to family to FAB world friends, if the question was difficult. I got one “impossible”, a handful of “Hell NO!” and a long list of people who gave me at least the three one-word answers to the question (virtual “no”s). Nearly everyone queried (including the one who said it was impossible) listed family (in one incarnation or another) as one of their top three.

One person asked me to share my answer.

Mine are inner peace based on an understanding of identity, interpersonal relationships which extend beyond bloodlines and ethics.”

If you have read at least three post on M3, you have come across a post about one of those three topics. Indeed, they are my top three most important subjects.

Conundrum

If the entire point of the conversation is to get to know one another, why would anyone shy away from saying what they find important and either why they think it is important or how they think it is important? The list of reasons is relatively short.

  1. Shame. They simply do not want to stand up for what they believe. (Judgment)
  2. Insecurity. It is not something they think I would share. (Assumption)
  3. Ignorance. They have never prioritized what they feel is important. (Identity)
  4. Acceptance. They want to give an answer which is “right”. (Endorsement)
  5. Insincerity. They could not care less what is important as long as their needs (desires) are met. (Inauthenticity)

The only answer of these I am willing to accept is ignorance. While it saddens me at a cellular level, I understand it because it is truly authentic. One of two scenarios presents: too many things are important to narrow to three choices or no one has ever cared enough to ask thereby prompting at least a set of one-word, knee-jerk responses. Where the first speaks of character, the second speaks of choices.

Third Responses

Now, you have the floor. If you answered this query on Facebook, please answer any of the questions already posed in the post.

If you have not, please answer the query.

Please share this with your friends because I really want as many answers as possible. Thank you for all you do.

Red Signature


Describe the three most important things in your life.

If you like this from the button above, you can put in a comment. If it does not go to your wall, please repost it as a link. (FB changed its external like system.) Pinterest, G+, LinkedIn and Twitter operate all the same.

Hashtags: #identity #socialmedia #onlinedating

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© Red Dwyer 2014
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15 Comments

  1. I will start with the same answer I gave you on FB, then maybe (?) expand.

    I do not believe I could answer today. 1 year ago yesterday, then I might have been able to, today no it is impossible.

    There are no absolutes.

    Love (compassion, empathy)
    Integrity (knowing who you are and standing by it, even when it hurts)
    Courage (to face the unknown, the unknowable and the future)

    What do I mean by no absolutes? Each person interprets what the above words mean, adds or subtracts from them what they believe they mean. This is true despite my meaning being stated.

    I think it is impossible to say what is ‘important’. We change as humans and as we change, what was once important may change with us. What I believed a year ago was vital, well lets just say I was taught in no uncertain terms I would survive without it.

    Now I question everything. Now, I don’t know.
    Valentine Logar recently posted..Call it RainMy Profile

    Reply
    • I believe you are correct about change and interpretation. It is part of the reason the “question” is posed as it is. How we frame the answer is vital. Still, I like your explanation of yours. xxx

      Reply
  2. Mine is pretty simple:

    To live, love and be happy.

    To Live because it beats simply existing.

    To Love, because it is better to love those around us whatever the relationship than just acknowledge their existence and,

    To be happy because too many live miserable lives chasing material wealth and having no-one to share it with and ultimately drop dead with no-one to mourn their passing… 🙂

    Love and hugs!

    Prenin.
    Prenin recently posted..Saturday – Foggy weather!My Profile

    Reply
  3. I don’t find sharing what I find most important difficult, nor giving the reasons why. In answer to your FB post, I shared three important things. While you didn’t actually ask for them, I sensed a follow up would undoubtedly make that query, so I got that out of the way right away. In my hurry, I didn’t think of the “why” question.

    My answer was God, Family, and Friends. (Please do note the correct use of the Oxford comma, which falls somewhere between numbers 78 and 93 on the-most-important-things-to-me list.) Chianti takes a distant fourth, tied with writing.

    I am a man who is very set in his ways. One of those includes strong religious beliefs, instilled mainly by my mother. And despite what science says, science has not yet disproved those beliefs. I do find use for science. It is fun to fill a balloon with hydrogen and hold it over a candle to see water appear out of thin air (don’t try this at home folks). To the chagrin of atheists everywhere, I refuse to engage in debate about it. I am, therefore I am. Without family and friends, what reason for having a life—simple as it is—do I have? If I had neither, I suppose writing would fill the void. I fill the empty parts of my life with that anyway.

    That suffices for a long-winded version of the why. The real reason is more simple. It makes me happy.

    ~MJ

    Reply
    • LOL! I had someone fill balloons with hydrogen to pop them for my sister’s birthday one year when she was ill. Not sure Momma like that in the house…

      In our discussion of the layers of things which encompass one another, happiness as a “why” rather than as a “what” makes for some interesting answers. For me, happiness is resultant of my three making it a happy consequence or a freebie.

      I wondered where writing fell on the list. Not sure, but I may rate Moscato a weensy bit higher than writing on some days. Thank you for your answers and explanation. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Camaille Poole

     /  December 15, 2014

    The three most important things in my life are not of material. Happiness is top most important. My own happiness, I believe, is most important to be completely “at peace”, so to speak, with your own life. Second comes self-acceptance. You must accept yourself. Why should it matter if anyone else accepts you if you cannot even accept yourself? Finally, com(passion). The reason for me spelling it like it is: compassion is key for any relationship. To give and receive love is vital to your own happiness, in my opinion. But what is a relationship worth if you do not have that fiery passion between the two? Passion and desire, I believe, both go hand and hand. It is what makes a relationship worth a damn in the first place. Keeping that passion is the hard part, but it is vital to keep the com(passion) in the relationship.

    Those are my top three most important things. I hope I answered your burning question. (Smirks)

    Also, I do not believe this question is hard. I believe people are not ready to face or stand by what they believe is important in their life. Or, simply, they haven’t figured it out yet.

    Reply
    • Excellent answers, Millie. Not having figured it out by my age (most of the respondents were at least my age) makes me inordinately sad. <3

      Reply
  5. loneelk

     /  December 17, 2014

    1.) To be loved, respected, and appreciated.

    Acceptance is, to me, as important for my mental well being as is water, air and food is to my physical existence. At different points in my life I have been without all of these things, if I were to ever reach a point where I had lost all three simultaneously, I’m not sure I would have survived, nor would I be likely to want to.

    2.) To discover and fulfill my intended purpose on Earth.

    This is not an easy task. I’m still very much in the discovery process. When I believe I have found it, somehow, life changes and with the changes comes redefinition. Early on, I believed my intended purpose was to be a good husband and and a great father. The children however did not materialize. The jury is still out on the good husband aspect as well, I know in my heart I have failed at that task thus far, and so my intended purpose remains at large. Currently, with my parents aging faster than I am willing to accept, I believe my intended purpose, seeing as though I am an only son as well as an only child, may very well be to hold their aging hands in mine as they slip away and mourn their inevitable loss.

    3.) Maintaining my integrity and dignity.

    My Father told me as a young boy that the most important thing he has or ever would give me was my last name. His name was clean, mine was given to me clean, and it was my responsibility to keep my name clean and pass it on to a son one day. To this day I don’t think he has a clue as to the profound effect his statement has had on my life. There were a few things in my youth I chose to “take a pass on” as a result of these words that I still remember and live by today. My dignity I’m afraid has been trampled on quite a bit throughout my life, but somehow I always seem to find it again and after smoothing out the wrinkles, it is nearly good as new. Hopefully, both my integrity and dignity will be intact the day I am called before my maker.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Disclaimer: I do want to say that like Valentine Logar has stated, I firmly believe that the most important things in life change and evolve to suit what ever is seemingly lacking in your life at any given point. Next week, being able to find French Vanilla ice cream on the shelf at the supermarket may take the place of any of the things listed above, or on a really bad day, perhaps take the place of each and every one of them.

    Scott

    Reply
  6. My past, present and future…

    My past because without that I would be nothing, nobody would, it is the learning process in which we live and learn from our past experiences.

    My present because no matter what I have done in the past I know that my present is an on-going process that holds true, which is an important balance I think.

    My future, because everything that we are is carried forwards, we just need to know what our realities are, and do our very best to make sure that we keep on the right track.

    Have a lovely Thursday Red 🙂

    Andro xxxx

    Reply
    • Very interesting answers, Andro. I would venture many would discount the past as immutable, ergo unworthy of importance. Methinks all the talk of family (specifically in its incarnation of heritage) is very much past. I like it. xxxx

      Reply
      • Discounting the past is just forgetting where we have been and what we have learnt, I know everyone has their own views on this but for me I think it is the correct way of thinking.

        Have a lovely Christmas Red 🙂

        Andro xxxx

        Reply

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