“It wasn’t only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding; above all, it was the failure to grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you.” – Ian McEwan
They say the biggest distance between two people is misunderstanding. It creates this gap between people. Or is it a wall? And it’s frustrating, isn’t it? It does make you feel as if you’re alone, the only one who thinks and says and acts in a certain way.
And by feeling so don’t we diminish others as well? Don’t we fail to understand that even though they are different, they’re still inherently the same as us? And they deserve to be treated the same way we’d like to be treated.
I don’t know, it’s a difficult question to answer.
But could you hate someone if you knew why they do what they do? If you could truly understand them? Their thoughts? Their feelings? Know their past? Their struggles? What they want? What they have lost?
That’s the thing, I’m afraid. It’s not that we are incapable o caring about others, it’s just that we rarely get to know them. To really know them. And thus we never get to understand them. And the wall is still there…
We’re all strong enough to endure someone else’s tragedy.
I used to add this line to every single one of the novels I wrote.
It seems to me that the most technologically advanced era in human history is one of isolation and desensitization.
What I mean by that?
Walk into any coffee shop or bar and you’ll see folks reading news on their phone (it used to be newspapers, now it’s social media), TVs preaching all sorts of tragedies, fires, deaths, and chaos.
It seems the world is busy destroying itself.
Of course, this is but a biased perspective that we are being fed, but nonetheless…
It’s what we see all around us. Despair. Violence. In movies, art, video-games, news, you name it.
And whether or not it turns us into creatures of violence, I am quite certain it makes us less sensitive to our inner humanity. And to that of others.
Simply put, deaths become statistics. Numbers. Meaningless information. Everybody seems to have it really bad, and it seems impossible to find the time to relate to this on a human level.
There are so many of us that most times we feel utterly and inconsolably alone.