Sunday, December 4, 2011

Everybody Lies

I feel like I should blog a little more on my page, instead of my massive tournament reviews every now and then. I'm not too sure what I want to talk about at the moment, but I hope it will be something badminton related, as badminton more or less is my whole life at the moment.

Ever seen the TV show "House, M.D."? Starring Hugh Laurie, he plays as a doctor who solves strange medical cases. I'm still currently following the show, even though it is far from real medicine, I do enjoy the medical mysteries. The show was originally designed to mirror elements from Sherlock Holmes, with the Dr. House and Dr. Wilson relationship mirroring the original Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. But enough of the intro, I'll leave you to watch the show yourself if you're interested :)

A key line in the show that they frequently use in the show is that "Everybody Lies". There are many references to this line as there are many episodes where they stick to the assumption that the patient is 'lying' about their symptoms. As they uncover the truth, these lies are usually what exacerbates their problems and by uncovering certain truths about the patient, Dr. House and his team are able to solve the case. 

Dr. Adams (Odette Annable), my new favorite character on House, MD

Ironically, I believe there is some truth to the statement that 'Everybody Lies'. It can be difficult to discern the truth when it's hard to distinguish an absolute truth. We can define an absolute truth to be something that is always true, where as a relative truth is something that is true in that moment. For example, if you asked me for the time, I can only give you a relative answer based on the information I possess. The time I give you will never be absolute, because honestly, who is really giving you the correct time? If you asked a bunch of people for the time, it is likely that they will all be different and at most you take an average of the times to get to the closest answer. However, this can dwell into statistics, as if your mean (average) has an outlier (i.e. someone's clock is super fast or slow), then your mean will be skewed (uh, meaning the time will further off than usual). 

With that said, I believe that the truth is reflexive, and that the truth can change if we consider it to be relative. People may believe in you and tell you one thing, but maybe it can change the next year, the next week, the next day, or even the next moment. If you asked me for the time and I said that it was, let's say, "12:00pm". I have told you with as much truth as I can that the time is noon. However, an hour later, if you recall me telling you that the time is "12:00pm", that is not true anymore. I had once told you the time, but because it does not remain the same, you cannot use my information anymore. If you still choose to use that information, then it will be untrue, almost seeming as if I lied to you. 

Now, how does this relate to badminton? Well, I will try to tie things together. Consider coaching, for example. I had taught many people how to play badminton, but I am still personally growing and continually growing (I hope :P) to learn. Sometimes, techniques have to be simplified, then broken down and redeveloped. Other times, techniques can simply be improved, with more detail added to it. I have shown people how to do basic shots and I have shown people how to do advanced techniques. Unfortunately, as I continue to grow, my methods continue to adjust as well. It can be inferred that I have 'lied' to my original students, and will be essentially 'lying' to anyone I may talk to now, as I have adjusted my own techniques and I will likely continue to make small adjustments. However, everything is quite contextual, but since badminton is ever changing, it's hard to go through every single context. Since we would take forever to go through every context, we make things easier for ourselves by making generalizations. It seems to ease teaching to the average person, but for every one that finds things easy, there will be one that finds it excruciatingly difficult. I think I read somewhere that a survey was done where they asked a person if they felt below average, average, or above average. The survey came out to find that more people thought they were above average than the other two categories. That can't be possible now, can it?

As good as intentions go, we cannot always rely soley on the things we have been taught. Even if our instructor has the best intentions for us, there's another saying that goes, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions". I don't want to dwell too much in religion, but actions are the things that make or break us as good or bad people. We may want to be a good person, but ARE we? Let's bring the context back to badminton. How often are we taught to do something, but we may ask, "Yes, but how about when *this* happens?" Or, if you're not lucky enough to ask and experience it first hand in training, or worse, in a tournament, then it is easy to get frustrated when what you are 'intending' to do is not working. When you go back and ask your coach, maybe you will get the simple explanation of "No, that's the wrong time to use it", "No, I didn't mean it that way", etc. But it's really not the coach's fault, it's not really anybody's fault I guess. We have just simply assumed that it would work in the incorrect context. There's another saying that says that when you 'assume', you make 'an ass out of you and me' (ass-u-me). There's nothing wrong with making an assumption, as long as you understand that there may be consequences. I'm sure a lot of you find it annoying when people have made an incorrect assumption about yourself or how you do things, and based their judgement on their assumption. I know I definitely do. If you don't understand what I mean, then an easy example of this is when you genuinely try to help someone, but they refuse your help. Perhaps you may have jumped to the conclusion that they need your help and you offer it, but because they turn you down, you feel uneasy. You're working in their best interests anyway and you thought it would be a thoughtful thing to do. Actually, that covers both good intentions and assumptions, but I hope you understand my example. I hope you do, but I can't make that assumption ;)

So, as I have been rambling for paragraphs, what is the purpose of this blog post? Well, to sum things up, things may not always be what they seem. Everybody lies. Whether they mean to or not, good intentions or not, things always change, so we must change too. We cannot always be stale to tradition, or what worked last time, but be free to question things and learn to adapt to different scenarios. Routines change, strategies change, people change... so be adaptive. Don't take things personally and don't always make assumptions. Like Bruce Lee said, "Be water." Because water is adaptive, it can be at different states (solid, liquid, gas). It is more or less formless, as it is shaped by it's interactions with different objects. If I said that water is a solid, you'd be thinking of ice probably. If I said that water is a liquid, you'd be thinking of... water... If I said that water is a gas, then you'd be thinking of it evaporating, like when you boil it at 100 degrees Celsius. Water is a solid, water is a liquid, water is a gas... but I'm lying. Water can't be all 3 at any one moment. So the truth is again, relative. Water can be any of those states but in that one moment, it can only be one (or MAYBE in between 2 states if you wanna be REALLY picky).

Okay, so I stalled another paragraph :P The point is to be in the moment. Existance is purely based on a single moment that keeps changing. As I took the time to write this blog, many moments passed by, most of them wasted, but hey, I'm almost done here. We cannot change the past, we cannot be in the future, we can only be in that moment. And being in that moment, you can find the truth; in that one moment... nobody has to lie. In that one moment, you can refute the saying, "Everybody Lies". I'm not telling you to "Live for the moment", but instead "Live IN the moment", because in that one moment, that one situation, it's just like badminton... nothing is exactly the same. Things may be similar, but we need to adapt to the moment. Don't think too much, or you'll miss the moment! Just let yourself go, let yourself be. Just play...

Play badminton, that is...

Thanks for reading! 

(All pictures found through a Google Image search.)

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