I am grieving a long goodbye to a preposition—the word I so often use and abuse and twist like a bendy figurine. The word is “for.”
There’s so much power packed into this little word. We’ve talked a bunch about the differences between “to, for, and with” in relationship to how we do community with folks. “With” is always the clear preference for authentic,
mutually respectful, equal, beautiful, messy-but-real relationships… “With” is entirely more complicated. Depends on how bent a person may be on controlling people or situations that are not exactly what we had envisioned them turning out to be! The addict that didn’t want help, the lonely person that pushed people
I’m grieving terribly! I have a feeling I rather crave this perceived control– Somehow I’ve taken to this crazy idea that it’s easier or better or more efficient for ME (number one) to solve the problem, apply simple solution, and make all better– Just like that!
SO I found this interesting tidbit of info that gave me a better idea about what it is to live “with” and let “for” fade more to its proper place. I’m a wanna-be computer nerd, so I got a welcome idea illustration when I learned this little tidbit about computer program language. In computer language there’s actually a thing called a “for loop” where the programmer can dictate something to happen over and over again, and they can even program how many times this must happen.
There’s another kind of loop called a “do loop” that’s identical to a “for loop.” Interesting, isn’t it? My point is that some genius somewhere came out with an actual command for these wonderful machines we call computers, which tells it what to do and when to do it, and how many times. And as long as it does that command, everything runs smoothly within the program. This is the function of “for” in a computer. Isn’t that what “for” is for?? And the fact that a “do loop” is the exact same thing… well, as long as we DO, DO, DO what we are programmed FOR, FOR, FOR…
Get what I’m saying? It seems like there should be a nice algorithm to the whole thing, right? It puts a whole new meaning to controlling situations and outcomes with “for.” As long as I can do whatever it takes to make things happen that I think should happen, then I control the situation and I am doing “for.” There is no room for “with,” because that would require me to leave options open– choices and dialogue from the other side. Oh, how I fear that unknown! But how I do long for it… I can imagine the wonderful conversations and amazing new algorithms yet to be discovered!