Know Misunderstanding

Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to use a hairdresser you can understand.  There was a time when I regularly visited a local hairdresser for convenience sake, even though I could hardly understand his strong European accent. In fact, I found him so hard to understand that I had to ask him to repeat every question.
After a few visits I found myself starting to guess what he was asking, which usually turned out ok. However, one time I was truly baffled when he asked “Zurimeiwows?”

This was a collection of syllables I hadn’t heard before. After a “Sorry?” from me and an identical “Zurimeiwows??” from him, I still had no idea what he was asking.  The problem was, I was too embarrassed to get him to repeat it a third time, while he stood there waiting for a response, shaver buzzing in one hand and  holding my head still with the other.

I thought he was probably asking if I wanted my lanky sideburns trimmed, a common question at this stage of my haircut. So I said “Yes”, as you do.

However, as he reached up with the shaver, he bypassed my sideburn and headed straight to my eyebrow and the next thing I know is “Jerrrrr” he’s halfway over my right eyebrow - shaver running at full steam.
I’m amazed my “surprised eyebrow” reflex didn’t fling the clippers out from his hand, like a cowboy bucked from a bull.

Not being able to see behind his hand, (nor repeat what my conscious shouted out), I had no idea what was I was about to see as he removed his hand.

Fortunately for me, as his hand lowered minutes later, (or was it seconds later – hard to tell) I figured out what he was asking. “Trim the eyebrows?”, not “Wanna look surprised?”, like I’d momenTERRORly feared.

This experience got me thinking. There’s a few jobs out there where misunderstandings could bring quite disastrous results.

Air traffic controllers, for example, would be one such occupation.
[Controller] “Flight 24, mumble, mumble, mumble”.
[Pilot] “This is flight 24, say again Traffic Control??!!”.
[Controller] “Flight 24, mumble, mumble, mumble”.
[Pilot to co pilot] “Cant say I’ve ever been asked to inflate the escape slides on approach for landing, but I’m not going to lose my licence for disobeying Traffic Control”.

Or what about a rally car navigator.  That’s a job where there’s no room for misunderstandings.
[Navigator] “Left corner . . . big dip . . . and mumble, mumble, mumble to avoid driving into the Grand Canyon”
[Driver Thoughts] “ Left corner, big dip, pop the bonnet . . . pop the bonnet?? Where on earth’s the lever for the bonnet!!! . . . Here tis.”
[Rally car] “Pop . . . engine rev  . . . slow descending whistle . . . puff of dust.”

Also, it’s probably a good idea for plastic surgeons to have clear understandings with their patients.
[Surgeon] “So team, says here that this one wants their chin shortened, good idea, their forehead raised, easy, and their nose . . . rotated  . . . what’s that say . . . 90 degrees?”

And what about theologians misunderstanding the Bible. Can you imagine the screening process for entering church as checks are done for clothing with mixes of wool and linen (Deut 22:11) and determining whether blokes have their [FIG LEAF CENSORED] all in order!  (Deut 23:1)

This scenario, if practiced today, might be the result of a novel, and somewhat awkward, theological misunderstanding, but some theological misunderstandings could be eternal life threatening!

The big question is, are your beliefs filled with such misunderstandings?
We have Islam, Buddhism, Hindu, Judaism, Atheism, many different denominations of Christian beliefs, and more – but it’s impossible for more than one of these sets of beliefs to be without misunderstandings of truth.
Actually, the odds are, both you and I have beliefs about life which are incorrect. The problem is neither of us think we’re wrong. We wouldn’t have the beliefs if we knew they were wrong.

Due to the sheer amount of differences in beliefs in the world, logically the majority of the world’s population must be sincerely following at least some misunderstandings of truth! They can’t all be right.

Perhaps some of my beliefs are wrong, perhaps some of yours are wrong.  How can we decide?
Each of us should double check everything we believe for ourselves.

At one stage everyone was taught the world was flat, until Columbus went and looked for himself, (actually, if you believe that story you’ve been misled there too, that’s how easy it is to believe something you’ve been told without checking for yourself).

It’s in everyone’s best eternal interest to go back and fully explore their beliefs with an open mind and prayer.

If the misunderstandings have been taught to you since childhood, you’ll have the difficult job of trying to put aside your strong bias towards your beliefs. And perhaps there’ll be some embarrassment or inconvenience if you discover you’ve been living in misunderstanding.

Alternatively you could take the risk and just carry on as you are. I mean, people win the lottery with such great odds against them. Maybe your beliefs are right and everyone else is living in misunderstandings of the truth.


All items on this site are written by Scott Wegener, a multi award-winning Australian creative writer, specialising in fun Christian dramas and articles. He believes in looking on the lighter side of life while still valuing the eternal seriousness of life's decisions. This site is essentially a place Scott stores his works, sometimes without much copy-editing (do forgive any spelling/grammar creativity you spot on this site that comes free of charge due to his slight dyslexia).