One of the reasons why you may struggle to understand people is not due to the fact that people are complex alone, but due to the mystification you make of them. The only reason why you think your next-door neighbor is fundamentally rude, members of this or that gender evil, is that you forget that at the end of the day, they are all human. With needs, desires, aspirations, and fears. Just like you. It’s when you wake up to this realization that many of the actions that may seem puzzling from the outside looking in, suddenly become clear, or dare I say obvious? Once you look at the human next door as human, and not as some sort of divinity, that that which puzzles you become clear and easy to understand.
The easiest way to understand a person is by stepping into their shoes. to attempt to live through what they lived through. To along with them suffer their pains. To fear their fears. Because at the end of the day, as different as we may seem to one another, we’re all at a fundamental level more alike than we think. This is why that person who looks aloof or standoffish becomes more relatable when we are made aware of footsteps that led them to be who they are. The footsteps that led them to do what they do, and think the way they think. Because as alike as we are from one another, what makes us different or unique for that matter, are the unique chapters that make each of the little personal histories that make us who we are.
It’s by experiencing more people that one gets to learn and understand the intricacies that make us different from everyone else. This understanding comes not in the form of the cold kind of knowledge teachers force onto us in school, but the kind of warm understanding that only the stereotypical mother can have towards her offspring, when she realizes that the bad behavior comes not necessarily from any inherent badness or evil from the part of the child, but maybe from hunger or tiredness. Each person you talk to will paint a picture of one of the many possible paths a person can take given the randomness of the universe we live in.
To understand another one has to learn to first understand oneself. One’s predispositions, fears, and biases. As it’s only by knowing what one’s preconceived notions are,e that one can learn to suspend them. And it’s only by the suspension of said preconceived notions, that one can develop the presence of mind to see people for who they are, as opposed to seeing them for what we think they are.
Remember that as much as Hollywood paints characters in extremes of good and bad, the real human is always a mix of said extremes. Rare is the person who’s only good or evil. Rare is the person who’s fully selfish or selfless. And you know you have some work to do when you look at your fellow brother or sister in black or white. No one is that perfect even when it comes to the darkest aspects of human personality.
It is all about knowledge and experience 😉
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