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Separation of church and state
And business-friendship, and friendship-domestic

I find lately that I need to develop some kinds of separation-of-church-and-state protocols.

An example of church-and-state (besides the obvious, that of church and state) is the theoretical and ethical division of advertising and editorial interests of an information medium. In theory, one branch of the enterprise ought not unduly affect the other. In theory, the two branches ought to be divided. Separate.

In my life, I find the need for two kinds of delineation. One is that I must work on the separation of business and social interests; The other, that of social and domestic.

It's not that I must forgo the convivial pint with a business contact, but that I must stop trying to talk too much about business with my friends.

It's a general feeling, and intuitive to me. But an element of it goes thusly: Advice that I tend to get from friends is based upon what they presume to be my characteristics; and I'm trying to do something new. Something new to me, or at least progressive. Friends tend to stick me back into a reference to what they know about me.

Also, I tend to take the advice of friends personally. That's natural — my relationship with friends is personal. A good hard bit of business sense is not offensive to me. But to hear a friend criticize my effort sometimes offends me.

Another kind of delineation that I need to work on is that between social and domestic. I live with two housemates whom I did not know before I let them move in here.

The conflict in this case is exactly related to the fact that I like my current housemates, and that we are occasionally social together. We're compatible and mostly comfortable with each other. This, as is intuitive, is more reason to get along with each of them individually, and for us all to get along collectively.

But part of my criterion for getting along with people who live in the same house involves a certain kind of liberty from excessive accountability. I don't want to have to answer for my comings-and-goings; nor for my habits and customs.

I want to be free, just to live. I don't want to have to explain how I'm doing, or what I'm doing. Sure, it's natural to share, and to talk. But I don't want to be constrained into any such behavior — not where I live.

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Separations. Delineations. Church-and-state.

— 9 April 2006

Steve Edwards