In Emerson's rousing long essay, Self-Reliance — a call to intellectual independence and rigor — he says, "In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: They come back to us with a certain alienated majesty."
One of the points Emerson is trying to make is this: The literature and art that we most appreciate is that which most accurately or powerfully reflects some basic human truths. It's not that the truths themselves are necessarily "deep." A genius is a genius not because his feelings or experiences are so unusual, or even so outstandingly powerful, but rather because he is able to recognize them as universal and meaningful, and to announce them, rather than pushing them aside as shameful or weird or too obvious — or allowing them to get drowned out by the flood of distractions and noise that often is life.
This is all a very long way of introducing A LIST OF THE 5 BASIC THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT A PERSON BEFORE YOU KISS HIM that I recently came across in an email that was forwarded to me. It was written by life coach Laurie Gerber, and her tips are so simple and obvious and exactly right that they're borderline genius. Because our daily lives have gotten so complicated — our dating lives, in particular — I think these are exactly the kinds of tips we need to hear. Or, at least, I do.
Laurie says: "You cannot kiss anyone until you have first established he is worth your time."
How do you do that? Easy. Simply be sure that you know that:
1. He is looking for a serious relationship.
(But if you're not either ... well, then, you don't have to be worried about who you are kissing. Kiss whomever the hell you want.)
You should also feel interested in a serious relationship with the person in question. Which means you should know that:
2. You are impressed with what he is doing with his life.
3. You respect him.
4. You sense that he is comfortable with himself.
5. You really want to kiss him.
Simple, right? But also kinda brilliant.
Now, maybe you're saying, "Eh, Maura, it's just a kiss — what's the big deal?" Well, I suppose the biggest thing is that having simple standards like these is one way to help boost your self-esteem. If you're kissing every Tom, Harry, and Dickhead who crosses your path — and often getting rejected by them — that might not feel so good. Simply knowing that a person has to meet certain qualifications before getting to the next level with you will leave you feeling empowered. Like you have standards. Because you do!
In fact, I'd go as far as to say you should know all of these five things before you go on a second date.
What do you guys think?