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Isn't it pretty?

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Man and Superman

I have been reading the play Man and Superman by George Bernard Shaw. I have only read the first act so far, so I have no clue how it will turn out, but for a play written at the turn of the century, I feel like the themes that are brought up are very contemporary. One of the main characters, Jack Tanner, is the author of "The Revolutionist's Handbook" and he describes himself as a member of the "Idle Rich Class." His forward-thinking is not always appreciated so much by the other characters in the play. He describes the process of growing and maturing: "I had become a new person; and those who knew the old person laughed at me. The only man who behaved sensibly was my tailor: he took my measure anew every time he saw me, whilst all the rest went on with their old measurements and expected them to fit me." I think this is true for most of your casual acquaintances; they have trouble seeing you in anything but the role that they initially place you in. When things change, when the balance of power gets tipped, when one person suddenly has taken a major step in their life, I think relationships do tend to have trouble. I see this many times with friends who get married or have children, the relationship between two friends can change or even terminate when such a big event occurs in one's life and not the other. But I think that there is a level of friendship to which this does not apply. I think that for two people who really have that unique bond that, unfortunately is found so rarely, a level of maturity gained or change in status doesn't have the effect of also changing the friendship or relationship. I have a friend who has known me through my silly college days, through becoming religious, through becoming independent and figuring out who I am. I have known her through her college days, through grad school, through now having a job, and having found the guy she is going to marry. Yes, our relationship has changed, because we both have changed and matured so much through the years. But the closeness that we shared initially has not changed through all of our growing. Because we respect each other so much as people, and we know each other's strengths and weaknesses and love each other anyway, I feel like that bond will not be broken by our changing lives. I hope not. I think that if we realize how much we each change and want people to respect that in us, then we will have a much easier time respecting other people's changes, and admiring them for having the courage to grow.

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