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Megha Kansra
Megha is a contributing columnist for the Fort Bend Star.
She is a junior student at Stephen F. Austin High School-FBISD.

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.
Understanding - or not  

I've been in an interestingly contentious mood lately. Or maybe a contentiously interesting one, to be perfectly honest. And you might want to go back and read the last two sentences, especially if you have, as I do, a natural suspicion of overly clever sounding switcheroo sort of phrases.

Anyway, it all started with something I read. That crazy Oscar Wilde. He started by saying, "As it was, we always misunderstood ourselves, and rearely understood others." Which made me double back. Because I've always felt like I've understood myself sufficiently, but could never truly understand others. And then I thought...

At school, people seem to live under several delusions. One is that myth of the "social life." Really, after numerous relatively balance polls, I've decided that most people become critical of their circle of friends. Few people naively accept the flaws of their acquaintances and merrily continue with life. Yet, people insist on spending time "socializing" with these "friends." Yet, the more the socializing goes on, the more critical people get of each other.

Of course, this must be a natural consequence of getting to know people. But, really then, why put on a placid smile and insist that one is going to "socialize" when that eventually comes to mean a gathering in which individuals silently measure each other?

At this point, Wilde is right - people don't quite understand themselves. But, paradoxically, in their evaluation of others, they feel as though they definitely know themselves and can roughly affirm that they've got others pegged as well.

However, who but the individual himself (or herself) can truly confirm that they understand themselves? Who, really? Certainly not anyone else or even a group of anyone elses.

Wilde had me there. So I moved on to the next part: "Experience was of no ethical value. It was merely the name men gave to their namesakes." This one I nodded my head to immediately, conspiratorially sharing a mental handshake with Oscar Wilde. Society feels the need to define even wasted actions as important. At least subconciously most of us ameliorate guilty or annoyed minds by telling ourselves that our "mistakes" were salutary. But then again....

Who was to truly judge whether an experience had been worthwhile but the experienced person? What was the paradigm for worthwhile, and how could we assume that every person shared that paradigm?

So...it was Wilde 2 - Megha 0. In the game of infuriation, of course. Though I'm not sure I could infuriate Wilde, you know...since he's dead.

Anyway, the point is that this all clearly reflected my contentious and interesting mood.

See, seperation of the two (contentious/interesting) really takes out the mangling confusion, doesn't it?

...Mangling confusion? Confused mangling?

The horrid Oscar Wilde.

Megha is a contributing columnist for the Fort Bend Star.
She is a junior student in FBISD.

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   Last Update:  September 07, 2006