Dynamics among us
In music, the term “dynamics” has to do with levels of volume. Often they’re noted within sheet-music scores – “p” for soft, “f” for loud – but in most cases, the dynamics are interpreted by the musician playing the piece. …so the very same piece might be played in quite a different way, depending on the performer.
In terms of inter-personal relating, we also hear about “dynamics.” It’s not necessarily level of volume, though that might be a helpful descriptor, but it has to do with things that are personal to each person. Some people get more energy from the inner world of thoughts and ideas – those people are “introverts” – while others get energy from the outer world of people and conversation – those people are “extroverts.” Some people, perhaps depending on their cultural background, enjoy certain foods and flavours, other people other foods and flavours. Some people, perhaps depending on their age, use certain images and words to describe things (eg. when my parents were in their youth, I’m told that they talked about things being “groovy,” when I was younger, things were “awesome,” now young people talk about things they like as “sick”). All these kinds of things affect the dynamics of inter-person relating.
But such dynamics are not as quantifiable or measurable as other things in life – like the distance from one place to another, or the weight of one item versus another, or the amount of monetary-value one product has compared to another. We need to know about them, however. We need to talk about these dynamics. We need to be aware of these dynamics.
It is these dynamics between people that raise or lower tension in the room – or tension between countries. It is these dynamics that make a joke funny or not. It is these dynamics that make it possible for us to care, because we know what it is to feel.
Feelings can be categorized under four main headings: happy, sad, angry, or scared. We have all felt these feelings, and different circumstances bring out these feelings in each of us. One song may make me happy; another song may make you happy.
These inter-personal dynamics are important to know about, and we only learn about them by journeying together – and I wouldn’t be so naive as to think that’s easy to do; it takes time, it takes energy. As my spouse and I have lived together, we’ve learned about what makes each of us happy, and what makes each of us mad, and so on. As I’ve been with the congregation of All Saints Lutheran, Kelowna, I’ve learned what makes certain people happy, and what some people fear.
As we journey together, we need a balance between the familiar and an openness to new things. If we are familiar with dynamics among us, we can go far!