Monthly Archives: November 2013

When a man sits…

When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute – and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity. ~Albert Einstein



noun \ˌre-lə-ˈti-və-tē\

physics : a theory developed by Albert Einstein which says that the way that anything except light moves through time and space depends on the position and movement of someone who is watching

Cultural relativism is a concept that refers to the fact that what is regarded as true, valued, or expected in one social system may not be so in another. It is important for several reasons, the most important being that if we are more aware of cultural relativism, we tend to be less blind and arrogant in relation to other societies and less rigid in evaluating the idea of changing our own.

I seem to be much like my mother and my sister: we have always enjoyed (like so many others) trying to figure out PEOPLE… where they just came from, where they are going in such a hurry. Why it’s taking them so long to get there? What makes them crazy? What makes them laugh? What moves them, what their past is? What their future will be? Are they married, separated, do they have kids? What do they do? Do they do it well? What were they thinking when they got up this morning ? When they put that outfit on did they REALLY think they looked good?  Did they even care?  WHY would they dress like that? And so on..Judgmental? Curious? Bored? It’s all relative, right?

I also like to imagine people past and present. What really goes on behind the scenes? What isn’t revealed but clearly is happening? I have no idea if what I imagine is true, I just know it’s fun imagining.  I say ” this is the story I tell myself”. 

I wonder if Einstein was having all those psychological exchanges with his wives to all hours of the morning? It would make sense if you looked at his hair; he clearly wasn’t getting a lot of sleep. (is that where “bad hair day was coined?) I think not.  But, I find the older I get, the less i really care how my hair may look on any given day.  Some-days, I happen to glance in the rear view mirror while driving, and (a) am either shocked or (b) think to myself, “well, that’s not too bad today.  But, back to relativity….There’s the scientific Theory of Relativity (E=mc2) of course, then there’s the philosophical/ontological Theory of Relativity. Where everything is relative. Einstein liked being married; he did it twice.  (me too- although i didn’t like marriage #1 and I stayed way too long in marriage #2)   Now in my mental meanderings, I think Einstein was equally fascinated with human relationships and all things relationship as much as his scientific fascination.

So, most of Einstein’s thinking got mined from relationships – those long nights of screaming of what’s relevant/relative/. Newton couldn’t have discovered relativity; he was never married. You can’t get E=mc2 just by being a good uncle.

Einstein knew the power of the “Appropriate Relationship.”

The ontological Theory of Relativity was the understanding of how we are relative to one another. Sun too close you burn up, too far away you freeze to death. All development/progress depends on having “Appropriate Relationships”. This same theory applies to human closeness and relativity as well, in my way of thinking.  Think about it.

And appropriate relationship does not mean culturally appropriate or socially dictated appropriate relationships. It means there’s a certain rightness – a physics to what works.

Just like “close talkers” always have bad breath. They don’t get the appropriate space between two individuals. So understanding your own relativeness, your own relevance, your very specific contribution, was Einstein’s desire for Humanity. Rather than being comparative and complaining about what you are not, you discover how you are relative to the world.




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11/06/2013 · 2:54 PM