Can you understand me?


I am having a great discussion with one of you on a previous post.

That discussion brings up this question? I really think you do understand me. But, this question applies to conversation in general in America today.

Can you understand me?

Which would lead to many other questions.

Do you want to

Do you care

If you understand me, will you change to what I believe?


But, I think where this matters is the huge shift in higher education in America. I was there. I got multiple degrees at multiple institutions.

And I had a lot of professors who disagreed with me, and they did not care if they understood my point of view. Yes, some cared. But, for many educators today, education is not about the exchange of thought processing, it is about rote memorization. In other words, if you disagree, you better remember my correct answer on the test, or you will fail.

I used different terms on an answer, I placed the professors words into my words. I failed. I went to the professor. He had difficulty understanding that what I said was the same thing he had said. And it was the same meaning as his expected answer.

HOW can we progress much further if we can only have rote memorization? How do I as a student choose a program where I know the professors will attack me personally, because I believe differently?

My first choice for Seminary was Claremont Graduate School. The leader of Feminist Theology in America. Sadly, I could not afford $50,000 a year.

I noticed quickly that I was asked to ‘change’ so I would not be ‘attacked’ while walking across campus. Because someone might be offended by my cowboy boots.


That is California. California will accept you if you are weird, anti-American, hateful, or even murderous. But, do not be a different they equate with something they hate ….

So, why is it so difficult in America to be understood?

I live in the Former Soviet Union – Ukraine.

I get more disagreement here than I did in Graduate School, or California.

No one has threatened me here – threats do get old. That just should not be a part of America.

But, I get genuine disagreement, and genuine interest in what I think.

“Wow? Americans really think that way? So, why don’t you think the way they think? You are an American.”

This discussion often happens when we discuss family. The Ukrainians really have a difficulty understanding American Family and the quick demise of our families. Sadly, I think their families are about 15 years behind American families. And they cannot afford it like we have afforded it.

But, I get genuine disagreement and interest.

Why isn’t America like that anymore?

My best friends growing up were Catholic and I was Baptist. Many best friends have been Atheists, and I am a Christian. Many were not engineers, or scientists, and I am definitely logical and an engineer.

So, why the disparity? This is not what America was built upon. And I do not think we can sustain the new society for much longer. Discord is very expensive. AND, this style of discord has targeted many of the American Values which made America great and wealthy.

What do you think?

Are we intentionally choosing to misunderstand people? Is it accidental? Or, are we becoming dumber?


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2 Responses to Can you understand me?

  1. I am a Ukrainian American. My father immigrated from Ukraine when he was 19. My Ukrainian friends consider me an American, but I don’t think I am typical. I was raised Catholic, but acknowledge that there are many paths to God or connection to a higher power.

    I did not read the previous post, so I’m just responding to what I’ve read in this post.

    I believe there is a difference between agreement and understanding, argument and dialog. I can understand you if I listen without judgement to you, and we have a dialog. It is not essential for me to agree with you. We can disagree but respect our separate beliefs, we do not need to argue. If we continue our conversation with open minds both of us may learn something new and meet in the middle.

    Today in America, I believe there are segments of the population who are not open to dialog or any attempts at understanding someone who does not agree with them. They feel they have all the answers and no manner of discussion will change their views. The only conversation you can have if they don’t agree with you will be an argument. The result of the argument will be painful and both of you will leave unhappy.

  2. I enjoyed your comment!

    May I ask about what you wrote in your last paragraph?

    Who has the greater responsibility in a discussion? Is the person who demands the other person change from being traditional? Or, is it the person who demands the non-traditional person become more traditional?

    I think it is ok to be old fashioned and not want to change. I think it is wrong to argue, or try to force, traditional people to change into the ‘new ideas.’

    I got tired of people demanding I change to make them happy. I saw that the new America was making them rich and miserable. I would rather be old fashioned and miserable than keeping up with the new fads and miserable.

    So, I think people ‘advocating change’ have a greater responsibility. First, they are responsible to make certain their ‘change’ is good for people. Second, they have a responsibility to accept those who do not agree and do not want to change. Third, they have a responsibility to help change what they created back to traditional if it turns out to be bad for people.

    Would you agree with that?


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