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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

compartmentalize (bonus gloss)

Defined by OED, compartmentalize (v). is: to separate into compartments; to divide absolutely. chiefly fig.1

Compartmentalizing Society  The world is slowly becoming more and more full of information, that we are being forced to hyper-specify all of our tasks.  Where once, you could be a house builder, you must now be a master of your specific area.  There may be a different person who lays the foundation, sets the insulation, installs the flooring...etc.  In a hospital, there was once only need for a doctor, and maybe an assistant or two.  Today we have general doctors, surgeons, nurses, interns, anesthesiologist, and within each of those disciplines, lie even more specific areas.  We compartmentalize our society.  We separate everything in the hopes that each individual task will be done to perfection.  While we have yet to get this method perfect, it is a fairly recent concept and we have time yet to understand the danger of over compartmentalizing.  The act of completely dividing aspects of our surroundings means it will be harder to communicate ideas and harder to understand what is best for most people.  

Compartmentalizing Relationships     We are essentially all alone, and as we begin to make relationships with people, we learn to adjust our relationships so that each person has a specific role in ones life.  Your family plays the role of being your starting place, and being the people who will always be their for you.  They are the first important influence on your life.  Even within this group, their lies a series of other specific roles.  Your mother and father act towards you differently then your siblings.  You also have friends who are the people who you come to trust over time.  There are those friends who are closer to you and have a different relationship with you than the friends who are not as close.  To keep all of these different types of relationships clear and manageable, completely categorizing and separating them is crucial.
 Compartmentalizing ThoughtsThe most important way of managing our thoughts, feelings, and emotions, is to compartmentalize them.  We seek to understand what we are feeling or thinking so that we can decide how to respond to the situation.  If we place each action into a category this helps us to identify why we acted or felt such a way.  In situations where you are very mad, but also upset, there is a need to figure out a direction to take in response to these feelings.  Once we have determined which box the feeling fits into, we are less intimidated by it.  To combine two conflicting thoughts or feelings puts us in a situation where we are unable to understand the scenario.  Compartmentalizing is not only crucial, it is natural. 


1. "Home : Oxford English Dictionary. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/37462?redirectedFrom=compartmentalize#eid (accessed November 18, 2012).

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