Friday, July 06, 2007

The Wicked Winks

"A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech, winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, points with his finger, with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord"
- Proverbs 6:12-14

"Whoever winks the eye causes trouble, but a babbling fool will come to ruin."
- Proverbs 10:10

"Whoever winks his eyes plans dishonest things; he who purses his lips brings evil to pass."
- Proverbs 16:30

I find the concept behind winking related to my post on honesty and openness in relationships.

To add, I was with a friend the other day, and we both agreed that when our mothers talk to people we don't know, like in the grocery store - even if our mothers know them, we are uncomfortable. Call us old-fashioned, but there is something to the custom employed in Jane Austen's day of being introduced before communicating. Any other communication would be perceived as impertinent, impersonal, or that of a servant carrying a message.

Later, during the Victorian era, if a person moved to a new city, they would leave cards at houses of desirable acquaintances. If the card was repaid with a visit (or a responding calling card), a friendship was established and visiting could comfortably take place. In this way, one could cut back on (but, of course, not entirely eliminate) unfavorable relationships. There would always be the faults of progressing relationships that become unpleasant, and family (which you cannot avoid without bringing shame on yourself or them).

Perhaps our social habits are too exclusive. However I differentiate between being kind and loving toward people in our lives and having them as intimate friends. In Wives and Daughters, Mrs. Gibson made a point of saying, "Yes, but Osbourne may come whenever he pleases; we are so much more intimate with him," to indicate a preference for him as a potential husband for her daughter. But, as I said before, one should never assume. She assumed most incorrectly that he was even eligible for marriage.

Pride and Prejudice promises a scene in which Mrs. Bennett finds herself denying a wink she gave her daughter - because a wink would have been seen as rude and intending to communicate in someone's presence without his awareness of what was being said, and because she had intended something embarassing by her facial gesture.

Another example. Jo March is reeling from the crudeness of the new society into which she has jumped when she first arrives at New York. When Winona Ryder, portraying Jo, encounters a row of young men entering the boarding house, the last winks at her in a most unsettling way.

Finally, though it has more to do with honesty than winking, I reference Joan of Arcadia. A character, Lily, is a former nun. She's very edgy, but everyone likes her. Why? Even though she grates, she tells the blunt truth. In one episode, she explains how she revealed a secret. "I thought she was onto us, and I blurted." So often that is me. I am concerned that people know the truth rather than form the wrong idea. More surprisingly, I wish I was more like Lily. Like I said, she is repellantly attractive.

Make sure that you don't wink. Don't use your body language to communicate deceit or intentions for which you ought to be ashamed. Be honest in all your dealings and speech. For the sake of honesty, I'll confess: I have trouble avoiding stating the moral of the story.

To God be all glory.

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