To quote The Doors, people are strange.
Ok, so they were talking about things looking a little funny when you’re on drugs. But I’m saying in general people are strange. They just are. Everyone is different, wants different things, expects different things, likes different things, puts up with different things. How are we supposed to cope with the fact that we have to interact with everyone differently? That is too challenging. In fact, it’s remarkable how well most of us manage to get along.
I finally realized that people are inherently different from one another at some point in high school. Up until then I kind of assumed that we would all morph into properly-functioning, well-mannered, socialized adults. Then I realized one day that what I had been calling “immature” had nothing to do with age and was actually a distasteful personality trait that a person would carry with himself for the rest of his life.
And I think it is only within the past year or so that my peers and I have actually started to accept these inevitabilities. Let’s get over the fact that this person is frustrating and realize that it cannot be changed. Now it’s an issue of if I will be able to bear this person and if so, what are the tools I should use to do it?
It takes a while from the initial glimmering of an epiphany, to its acceptance, to its finally being a given. We then walk around thoughtlessly with our kernel of knowledge that only years before was way off the radar of our consciousness.
When we finally know, not just understand, but know that each person is complex and different from ourselves, it becomes much easier to enjoy other people and perhaps embrace their differences. And hopefully that is the point I am approaching now (but who knows how many years it will take me to get there).