Thursday, June 07, 2007

Red Flowers, Arguments, And Insecurities

(Picture courtesy of

The following exchange is a typical argument between two small children:

Father: Look out the [car] window at the pretty red flowers over there.

Older sister: Ooooh pretty!

Younger brother: Me like them.

Older sister: You didn't see the red flowers. Only I did!

Younger brother: Me saw the flowers too!!

Older sister: No you didn't. Only I saw the flowers!

Younger brother: [frustrated and crying] No! Me saw the flowers too!!!

We may read this exchange and think it is completely ridiculous. Insert a political or religious opinion in the place of the red flowers and now it will sound exactly how some adults may argue at times.

It is baffling why a person who knows something with utter certainly will become so bothered by another person expressing a negation of it. Perhaps this all stems from a person's insecurities. If a person were secure and knew and trusted that something was a 100% fact, he would never be bothered by the ridiculous opinions of another who claimed otherwise.


At June 7, 2007 at 6:52:00 AM EDT, Blogger AS said...

I saw them tooooooo :)

At June 7, 2007 at 6:56:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

No you DIDN'T!

At June 7, 2007 at 10:09:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I remember once discussing a certain Torah idea with an acquaintance and no matter what I would say he would preface his response with the words:

“No, it’s not that, it’s…”

Finally I said, “do you realize that you keep saying the same thing that I just said in different words?”

And he replied: “No, I’m not! I disagree with your remarks, because you only think you understand, while I really do…”

At June 7, 2007 at 10:10:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

How did you respond do that one??

At June 7, 2007 at 10:51:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't - I basically let it go. Who knows? Maybe he was right...

At June 7, 2007 at 10:54:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

I can see from your response that you only think you understood my question, while I was really the only one who did.


At June 7, 2007 at 11:01:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At June 7, 2007 at 12:43:00 PM EDT, Blogger Jack Steiner said...

Oy, these arguments are all too familiar.

At June 8, 2007 at 12:12:00 AM EDT, Blogger Neil Harris said...

I actually read this post a few times. I might be reading too much into it but here are a few thoughts:
1) It could very well could stem from a person's insecurites. At time I believe I see things so clearly that I can't understand why no one else see it too. It when someone put a dent in our armour that we start to question what we KNOW is the truth.

2) I rememeber a class on cognitive behavior in college and the whole idea that when I, for example, taste some chocolate, it tastes totally different than when you taste it. "Older sister: You didn't see the red flowers. Only I did!"

Maybe the Older sister is right, only she saw (what she viewed as) RED flowers? Smart girl!

As an aside, just look into Parshas Shlach and the meraglim. How we see things totally affects us.

Great post!

At June 8, 2007 at 4:39:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

I appreciate your thoughts on this, Neil!

At June 8, 2007 at 8:54:00 PM EDT, Blogger Mottel said...

A great post!

At June 13, 2007 at 10:27:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A very good point with a profound explanation.

At June 13, 2007 at 10:28:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...



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