We are strange creatures, human beings. Look at any animal on the planet and you see logical behavior: cause and effect. Yet people are perplexing. We murder for pleasure, cheat and steal for unnecessary objects, and behave in irrational unnatural ways. Simply put, we make no sense.
I was reminded today of my own enigmatic and often-misunderstood tendencies. Communication, as we learn in college, is a difficult process. It is impossible to convey the exact message intended to any recipient. While we can get very close to the intended message, there never is perfect communication. More often than not, it fails miserably. Often, my own skills (or lack thereof) can cause what I say and do to be interpreted in a negative sense. That leaves the last lesson of communication: it can never be un-communicated. Done is done. Gone is gone.
No one can open up a brain and see exactly what was meant or even look to see how things are received. We have to ask, to guess, and hope the intended message was transmitted. Sometimes, we're lucky and things send almost as they were intended. At other times, it has the opposite effect. But it's not just that. We have inside jokes, manner of delivery, and physical behaviors to contend with. All these things can translate into total disaster.
More often than not, I'm a complete failure with communication. That's not to say I'm intentionally rude, arrogant, ungrateful, or any one of a number of bad qualities any person can possess. Still, we're all guilty of either appearing these ways or even being that way from time to time. Error and mishap are very real human qualities. Certainly, I've never labeled myself as a saint. A puzzle, yes, but someone without flaw, never. Still, we can't change a first impression. We can't turn back clocks and say, "No, no, what I meant to say was..." or "Even though this is what you saw, this is the reality."
Perception is everything. In just a short time, we can cause irreparable damage without being aware of the full effects. Sometimes, it's foreshadowed either with some degree of awareness in change. At other times, it comes out of the blue... or at least we don't understand the full effects until the shockwave from the blast slams us to the floor. You can't make a bomb disappear after it's been detonated. You're there standing amid the fallout.
In many ways, I am a seriously flawed human being. It's days like these that remind me of just how flawed I am. And so I sit among the ruins, wishing for a DeLorean equipped with a flux capacitor and a message for the past self. Yet no amount of hoping will make that happen. In the end, really all we can do is change the future. The past... well, it's the past. Only in the future can we hope make amends and change for the better to prevent ourselves from becoming our own worst enemies.