How are we supposed to apply ourselves...?
Different people derive different conclusions from studying the same material. We all walk away with a different idea.
For the sake of my friendship with my wife, the term "Common-sense" is banned in my house...because "my" sense & understanding is apparently only "common to me". We are all prone to this blunder in one way or another. All we have are our own ideas. Our own way of understanding & perspective on things. This becomes your yard-stick...the way you measure the people around you. This is what I get measured your idea of something....your understanding of something...your perspective on something....This is also our weapon in arguments. These are our tools in our reasoning. This is how we measure the world & every one in it.

If we can allow others the space that is needed for their ideas, we have a healthy shot at a sustainable friendship. I used to win most of the arguments in my house. Not because I was always right...but because I know how to build a good one. Little was I aware that with every victorious argument, I was slowly loosing the friendship. I will much rather loose every possible argument with my wife or my kids & win their "friendship" & respect on the long run. There is a more well known saying: Loosing a battle (is a small sacrifice) in order to win the war. Sometimes family life & friendship is a war of "wills" & a battle of ideas...

What happens when your will for some one is bigger than their will for themselves...?
Most families in my 40 years of observation has their own way of engaging in this. Children mimic the behavior of their parents. It is inside families where kids learn to impose their will on some one else. In my humble is almost as if we share a joint responsibility toward our siblings just because we grow up together. In a weird way we can feel embarrassed by their behavior because they are related to us. It is too close to might have too much of a reflection on us, so our verbal attack on their conduct is our way of distancing ourselves from what we do not agree with. We have no such aggressive approach to any other person except family. We are quite comfortable to be very critical toward a sibling., so it is deemed appropriate to over step an otherwise very clear boundary of respect we wouldn't with any one else, when we don't agree with their actions. We "own ourselves the right" to give them an ear full of what we believe they should be doing different. If I want some thing for someone - more than what they want it for themselves - I put that relationship under extreme pressure.
The only persons life over which I can execute my active will is my own. I cannot employ my "will" on my brothers behalf. Siblings treat each other the worst & their friends the best. I strongly trust the idea that if some one doesn’t ask a question...its probably because they don’t want to know...& if they don’t want to know its probably because its not important to them...regardless of what you might think of their indulgent ignorance..
And lastly if its not important to them its probably because it presents no apparent & appealing value to them...why would you have a desire to change something that doesn't bother you...? Inside each culture & religion there is a different way how this is appropriate & welcome. The only beneficial approach is to cultivate a culture of respect.

Are you God's Gift to us all...or are you actually one of us...?
Every idea in our world is based on a philosophy in one way or another. I think that ideas are the most profound things we can have, because it suggests a DIFFERENT way of idea is something we try & if it fails we try another one...until we find an idea that suit our philosophy...regardless of how special or prominent or personal ideas might be...they will forever only be an idea. Ideas have a subtle way of creating equality. There is always someone else with a different idea than you & no idea is bigger or better than another one, just like no man is bigger than another man & no one is more special than another. An idea might simply be right for me but wrong for you, as we all desire to follow something that carries meaning.

It is very rare that children are allowed to carry a different idea than their parents. I remember very vividly how my ideas of things as a child, rammed head on with that of my caregivers.

Whether its a belief in something, a code of conduct, an approach to things or a conviction of sorts. All the ideas we have inevitably provide some form of safety & it is possible for us to have a conscious or subconscious effort to protect the ideas that make us “feel safe”, depending on how personal we clothe ourselves with an idea of some sort.

“Ideas” are separate entities from who we are as people. They are not “what” we are nor “who” we are. We don't change who we are every time we change an idea nor are we a failure when an idea fails to produce a desired result.

When we understand what ideas ARE & are's easier to not make an idea MORE than what it actually is & we might be less likely to defend an idea to the death, as if someone is holding a gun to your head forcing you to hand it over.

“opinions are like ass holes...everybody has one” & very few will tolerate the stench of their neighbors mind.

I love controversial ideas. They stimulate my restless mind. I love anything that is out of the ordinary. Most people fear the idea of standing out...I have an extreme fear of blending in! We are all different for a reason. We cannot possibly learn anything from each other if we all try to be the same! I have found such meaning in the things people don't want to see. Ideas that are just too foreign to them. People don't know what to do with something they don't see every where or understand. It doesn't fit in any of their familiar boxes. But very few think to create a crazy box to start with? Watching people defend an idea or opinion has become a hunting ground for me in social environments.

If there is no real depth or meaning in a group conversation, I observe behavior by making an obnoxious statement or saying something truly offensive & watch how people come to life. People get so sucked in to defending their position. Like throwing a bone on the floor & watching dogs fight over it & yet no one asked a single question. No one is listening to each other. They are formulating their own response while someone is talking & just waiting for an opening in the conversation to inject their conviction. My fascination with "why people do what they do" never fail to entertain me. I am an extremely open minded person & what might seem like a mean thing to do as I described above...I am always looking for someone to share my crazy ideas with. Some one that will not take offense or defend a position. Some one that is equally intrigued with more options that what they might see & like to reason through them & explore them. As people fling their strong convictions at each other you quickly see who are the emotional ones you would like to avoid. Those that first feel before they hear anything & those that mere passengers in their convictions. I steer clear of that type. When the mud fight dies down, I will sit next to the person that was undisturbed by the whole thing...the quiet ones & light my pipe.

We can only impact the world if we have something they don't.

Thanks for your time.