The true man is revealed in difficult times. So when trouble comes, think of yourself as a wrestler whom God, like a trainer, has paired with a tough young buck. For what purpose? To turn you into Olympic-class material. But this is going to take some sweat to accomplish.
Epictetus, Discourses I, 24.1-2
I know a lot of you are scared. I know a lot of you are frustrated by events that you had not fault over.
Everybody who’s enjoyed some kind of success and Oprah will tell you that you can be great. That you are unique, special, fantastic, phenomenal…
But there’s a trap. It’s quite obvious, actually. As most things in life are.
I began writing in my most vulnerable years. I was dumb and arrogant, as most teenagers seem to be, and I did my best to pour greatness into every sentence I wrote. But I was also lying to myself, writing about what I didn’t know, pretending to know, and I got caught and people could see that I wasn’t willing to let them in – I was building this wall to protect my true self from anyone who would be searching for it behind my words. There was nothing that belonged to me in the stories I wrote.
“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?