Context is...
In the Details


Insert tl;dr

  • Originally Written: 22-Sep-2020

  • Word Count: ###

  • Read Time: ## minutes


I recently had the chance to meet Tyler Oakley.

If you don’t know him, I’m not going to explain him here, look him up.

Fangirling aside, while part of a conversation with him, I was laughed at by him for caring about the details of a story being told by a friend.

They were describing an encounter we had just had with a deer and I clarified there were actually two deer.

“Oh. Oh yeah!? I see what’s happening there.” he laughed, as he pointed at me.

Fuck. I was just read by Tyler Oakley.

Feeling a bit silly, I realized how unimportant my interjection was.

Who cares if there was one or two deer there when the point was to say that at least one was spotted?

I had to stop and collect myself for a moment.

What the hell was the point of caring it was two deer instead of one?

It was then I realized how being detail-oriented has its place and, when another is recounting information during a story, the objective isn’t to tell the story down to the fig leaf, but just to get a point across.

Details are important. Mind you. But they are important on a contextual basis.

Meaning. The details we remember are important to us because those are the details we pulled from a situation.

It doesn’t mean those details are important to others in the context of the way they recall that information.

Should we have been in a situation where we were tracking and counting deer, such details may count.

We are not trackers, animal watchers, or biologists in the wild. We are gay boys on a houseboat in a lake.

Details matter with people, but different kinds of details matter to different kinds of people.

Whenever I am around my more extroverted friends, I can’t help but feel I know all the wrong details in life.

They express more readily, dance and laugh more freely, and can initiate conversations with such grace and ease.

Meanwhile, I am stuck inside the judgments I have internalized in my head about how I come across.

I’m silent. Mute even. By comparison, I feel I am a wet leaf to the situation rather than a rustling branch.

However. What I fail to see in such moments is the details that count for others.

Sure. I may not be the most expressive person in a group, but my presence is still additive to their experience.

For what they see is a person who is present with the same experience they are having.

Being present is what counts more than any detail of the experience itself.

It doesn’t matter how well you perform in a matter. What matters is whether you were part of it.

To that end and, to a point, it doesn’t matter what pain you experience. What matters is whether you survived.

If you survived it means you’re still living. If you are still living then that is the only detail that counts.

Dwelling on the moments where we had struggle to survive doesn’t help us survive in this moment, let alone thrive in the next.

Dwell more on what you learned from a moment as you brush yourself off and try to make another impression.

For people do not remember the silly things you say, but how you made them feel.

When you make other people feel safe to be themselves, you are putting out energy that people can gravitate toward.

Those are the details that count. Those are the details that matter. Those are the details that make us human.

Love is what we find in the details of being human.

We often think of love as a feeling to those precious to us. Something too valuable to extend beyond our closest friendships.

But if we extend our love higher and farther, it can transform our connection with every human being we meet.

Imagine, for a moment, a mother cradling a tiny newborn.

As she holds him, love is the undercurrent to her affection.

When the baby grows, as it makes messes and throws fits, it can sometimes cause the mother feelings of frustration and anger.

But in this powerful bond, love is the unshakable foundation.

Every tear shed, every promise kept, every promise broke. Everything takes place in the context of foundational love.

Now what if we extended this feeling to new friends, even colleagues or adversaries?

When love is the foundation, we see ourselves reflected in the other's eyes.

Love teaches us to be kinder, and softer.

It also guides us to be more fair and compassionate.

So when you find yourself frustrated with the details of a matter that ultimately cast shade in the context of the light.

Find what details can bring you back to a place of love and peace.

As you cross paths with your fellow human beings, have love in your step.

Whether there is friendship or even disagreement, love is the answer.