Definition of Self : Handles on Doors

A long time ago, in a pub not so far away… we came up with a game.  I can’t remember what the forfeit was for, but it was this – everyone present could punch you in the arm as many times as they so desired, without repercussion, until the offender “touched a piece of ironmongery on a door”.

In keeping with the grown up nature of this game, we set about defining various aspects of “touch”, “ironmongery”, “on” and “door”.  Ironmongery actually only made the cut as a later part of the rule given that “handle” was causing us issues.  This is because some handles can be recessed crevices on a door such as this:


To highlight the issues:

  • This handle isn’t “on” the door.  At best, it’s “in” it.
  • Does this space constitute a positive handle, or a negative bit missing out of the door?
    • If it’s a negative bit missing, you can’t touch something that isn’t there.
  • Would the “positive handle” have to be purposefully put there, or could it be anything that could be used as a handle?

The world is full of such big issues!  Some would call it making a mountain out of a mole hill, but 10 minutes before closing time this was important!

The one we had real fun with was “door”.  We came up with:

An object, the primary purpose of which, upon its design or redesign, is to allow and restrict the movement of a person, persons or other object (or part thereof), from one area of space to another area of space enclosed by an otherwise restrictive boundary.

We looked up the dictionary definition, which we think fails simply because, if you take a door into a field, then it’s a still door but isn’t really something that is then closing the entrance to somewhere.  Those dictionary definitions usually look something like “a hinged, sliding, or revolving barrier at the entrance to a building, room, or vehicle, or in the framework of a cupboard”.

That’s an anecdote to explain why defining something isn’t always easy.  Honestly, try it.  Pick a noun, and write down a definition that not only describes the thing, but doesn’t describe anything else.  Now give that definition to someone else and see if they know what you’re talking about.  If they don’t get it or – more importantly – get something else, ask them to write a definition for the thing you were thinking of.

What triggered the thought in me was when I came across the prefix “cis” in article consistently talking about “cis males”.

I’d seen the term before, but had no idea what it meant.  It’s a prefix best described in terms of its opposite, and the opposite of “cis” is “trans” which means “on the other side”.  It’s usage in the term I saw (cis male) is to identify a male who was born as a male and recognises himself as such.

This isn’t meant to be a gender post, so I don’t want to get too deep in to this here, but another article I read in investigating this prefix forms the crux of what I wanted to ask you, dear reader.  This article said that there is no expectation for people to start calling themselves cis male or cis female as opposed to just male or female, but the prefix helps to define those who might have to otherwise be known as “normal” when doing a comparison with people who are, well, not cis, and that would therefore identify non-cis people as “not normal” which is wrong.  I hope that makes sense – it’s not a label, it’s a differentiator to help in definition.

It just made me realise how hard it is to define yourself, and what you use to define yourself.  I’ve always hated people who answer the request to “tell me something about yourself” by telling me what they do for a living.  If you wrote a definition of you, what would it have in it?  What makes you, you?

Perfection is defined when your heart beats next to mine
and time stands still for us.
My hand in your hair, and your’s on my chestMoments with you are my life’s best.We crossed paths for a reason
The planets aligned in that particular season
Its clear to me that well eventually be
InseparableI love your existence
and I can’t get enoughYour song is sung in your beautiful voice
My senses rush cause they have no other choice
I breathe you in, and I see through your eyes
You are an angel in a beautiful disguise.We crossed paths for a reason
The planets aligned in that particular season
Its clear to me that well eventually be
InseparableI love your existence
and I can’t get enough

So pucker up and embrace the greatness, you get me high and erase my sadness
I love your existence, and I can’t get enough

I Love Your Existence by Goot

Comments 5

  1. Liberty Henwick

    My 2 cents worth is that I think it’s almost impossible to define yourself without context as largely we are defined by where we are, not literally but in every way. We are the result of every choice we’ve ever made! 🙂

    • Hey Liberty, how are you? I’ve been thinking about your comment, because I realised when I wrote the post that it was a bit of a nothing post in that I didn’t really venture an opinion myself, which is quite rare for me! You’re right, I think we evolve based on experience. I think I’m going to have to find an old post I’ve written and maybe expand on it having thought a bit harder!

      • Liberty Henwick

        Hi Michael, I have written a post today inspired by yours, thanks! I’m just trying to work out how to give you credit now! Looking forward to reading your next one.

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