In my personality class we've been talking about two basic methods of reasoning - dialectical and demonstrative. Dialectical is basically finding an understanding through contrasts. You understand what black is because it's not white, that kind of thing. One example that he gives is when he was teaching at Baylor University in Texas, the preacher's kids were always the wildest kids around. They understood that being commanded not to do something in the first place also means that there is an option to do it as well. You understand what something is by also understanding what it is not. Does that make sense?
Anyway, I've been thinking about this a little more since I had a midterm on the stuff last week. So much of our understanding comes from the dialectic - trial and error. The converse of the dialectic is the demonstrative, which is consistent and true. Jesus Christ is the demonstrative example of the way to live our lives. It can be said that Paul or Alma the younger are the dialectical examples of how to live our lives - they are so good now, in part because they were once so bad. The ideal would be to avoid mistakes altogether and just live a consistently righteous lifestyle, but having the dialectic at least affords me the opportunity to live the kind of life I'd like to lead.
I know what it's like to be a good friend because I know what it was like when I was a bad one. I know how to treat people the right way because I've treated them wrong way before. It's kind of abstract, and maybe a little weird to think in these terms, but I think it helps me understand myself a little bit better, and also cut me some slack on being my own biggest critic. Sometimes that's a really hard thing to do.
I dunno. I was just kind of thinking about this lately as I've gotten closer to different people, and also I needed something to blog about since I've been neglecting you fools for so long. Last week was pretty busy for me, but I have a lineup of posts a coming. Don't you worry!