According to Developmental Pyshcologist, Robert Kegan, there are five stages of subject-object realtivity we humans employ. The first stage, during childhood, is one in which we experience reality as moment-by-moment--Kegan notes that young children will describe a movie by reflecting on a favorite character or an isolated scene without really catching on to the overall plot. As we get older we are able to see "time" as an object and , in essence, step back to analyze it . This second level of understanding is one we experience through adolesence. What we lack as teens is the ability to make ourselves an object, to assess ourselves from a different point of view; so as teens we often appear narcissistic...in fact according to Kegan we are. Most Adults are at level three, able to curb our self-serving apetites for what we see as the greater good. Kegan claims that many adults never proceed to level four, in which we make the greater good the object and learn to see rules as a means to an end rather than something to be taken in a literal sense. But you don't want to hear all this, you want to hear about my weekend...
Let us begin with Friday night. Late Friday afternoon Justin got back from school at approximately 4:53.09. He was tired from studying but I was HYPER. I had been staring listlessly at my facebook page for about an hour ... utterly unable to unglue my eyes from my computer and be productive. Then my poor husband got home and was tackled to the floor before even setting down his backpack! "Let's do something anything, let's make Kool-aid, let's eat popcorn, let's do it, let's play cards, let's play tennis, I'm bored!!!!" I screamed "Matt called, he and Lace wanna play basketball." he grinned. "NOW?!!:)" I smiled, "Yay let's play basketball!" "Well, he said he would call me when they head over there, " he stated."Let's do something anything, let's make Kool-aid, let's eat popcorn, let's do it, let's play cards, let's play tennis, I'm bored!!!!" I screamed...again. Poor guy, how was he to know my subject-object relativity making had reverted to level one.
So we went and played basketball. Don't worry I sobered up before we got to the gym. By the time the sports dude lowered a hoop for us I was operating solidly at a level two. We played 21 and I only guarded Justin because after all, wouldn't it just be silly for me to try to get the ball from anyone who didn't have a vested interest in my spectacularly batted lashes?Justin seemed to be making meaning in a completely different way ,however, because he certainly didn't have my eyelashes in mind when he slammed his shoulder into my chin. " What is this guy doing," I thought " doesn't he realize this little game of 21 is really just about him paying attention to me?" So I responded the way many a level twoer has, I kicked him right in the bEhind...in front of his friends no less. As you can imagine this did not go over well, but luckily my husband was not on level two so he was gracious about it. Soon some other friends showed up and a 3 on 3 pick-up game started. I was not chosen for either team as I am not particularly good at basketball. "I will sit here and they will all see how terribly gracious I am." I thought, of course when Justin didn't seemed to be looking I turned it instead into a fight, claiming that he should have tried to find a way for me to play too. What I was really struggling with however was getting beyond myself ...getting beyond level two. Needless to say I had some apologizing to do when the level three in me came through.
Today however was a perfect day, I think I even made it to level four a couple of times.Yes truly, an objective synthesis of "the greater good" was certainly neccesary for the events of the day. Let's just say that "call your own fouls" was a rule that was meant to be broken in order to have an eternal perspective... right? Somehow I am thinking Kegan might not agree... Anyway I made my own team to play in the intramural ,3-on-3 basketball tournament,there were only four girls' teams entered and two of them were predominately made up of cross country runners. Justin describes the game between our two teams as a "controlled fight"... he's probabaly right you know, at one point there were three of us on the ground , clutching desperately at the ball and shouting "No way,no way, no way" "get it , get it ,get it , get it" and " FOOOOOOOOTBAAALL" respectively.What can I say we are runners, I mean running isn't even that fun if you aren't a fiercely competitive person by nature...and it turns out basketball can get your blood boiling -- who knew?