The Alien Being
Let’s say that you are different, and that you are not at all like others around you. But I am repeating myself.
Are we talking about matters of the physical, or something to do with your soul being? What about your spirit man? Perhaps we are talking about all aspects of you as a human.
But the heart of the matter here is that you are different from others.
This in fact is a truth, and you probably have heard this being discussed in great details at great lengths numerous times already, but bear with me.
Now, getting back to that topic. We have a uniqueness to us, that which belongs to us alone, as an individual.
Perhaps it is your personality, or character, or your beliefs, your religion, the way you are raised, your clothing and style of choice; maybe it is your language, or race, or your past, and so on. All the things which make up the complete package which is you.
One can argue, “You want to talk about uniqueness? What are those examples you just gave? They’re not unique. I share a certain belief with literally dozens of others in my own life. I share a race with millions more! There are others with personality just like mine! My language is definitely not unique! Let’s speak of DNA and thumbprints, instead, now those are unique!”
Yes, of course, and those subjects actually interest me, since I have always been intrigued by the scientific aspects of our human body. But I do have a different point.
I think my whole point is that, in knowing you have similarities with others, you can’t help but still feel different, like an alien being. One who is always being misunderstood and judged based on outer appearances alone.
Digressing a bit, let’s approach the subject of familiarity once more. What is familiar to me might be unfamiliar to you, just as what is familiar to you is foreign to me. And so we want or need to introduce that which is familiar to us, to others so it is not a strange thing to them anymore. We know that that which is strange to someone can cause them to see it in suspicious ways, to be wary of it, or sometimes down-right reject it.
It is a real struggle to bring to light an otherwise obscure matter, and sometimes people’s deeply ingrained belief or thinking can influence them to such a degree that they have already make up their own mind concerning the matter.
When such a situation happens, it is a possibility that you have hit a dead end with those people.
There might be others though willing to give you a chance, to look beyond first impressions and see the possibility of something good, if not better.
But, conclusively, you only want understanding. You want people to understand you, because with understanding comes acceptance, hopefully.
Probing For Details
Now, take these highly-probable scenarios, using yourself as an example : You see someone else, and you immediately pigeon-hole them, because at your first glimpse of them you think you have them figured out.
Or, You look at a person through someone else’ eyes, and you let that someone else’ thoughts influence your own.
How about: You let years of conditioned thinking influence your every decision when it comes to another human being. You think because you have had this certain perception for years than that means it applies to every single person. Therefor, you confuse the difference between what they are with what they should be, and you let the later strongly blur your vision of the former.
You let your beliefs of ‘how things should be’ influence your perception of a particular situation – distorting it until it fits your sight better – thus dismissing the situation at hand as unacceptable and erroneous although it is the very factual condition.
Sometimes, we can be such blind creatures.
I’m not saying that all of these points of perspectives are wrong and are unreliable or even bad ways to use as your crutch in life.
Far from it. Many are very reliable, in fact, and even true.
It is my opinion, however, that in as far as how we view others go, we should do so with the understanding that everyone is unique in a way, and deserves their own chance of having their stories be told.
We might not accept everything, we might not even tolerate many things, but we must understand everything. Thus, we need to look at them with fresh and unbiased eyes. We do not presume to immediately know ‘things’ about people, especially when we never interact with them, to begin with.
Communication and interaction is key.
Also, perhaps what we all need is a chance to speak and to tell our stories so others can understand us.
It is my opinion that understanding might be the first step towards acceptance. Specifically, acceptance of that person as a unique individual who deserves your kind and humane regards. At the most, it is because you are human and has humanity.
We might not agree with them, but at the very least, understanding will make us able to look that person who is so different from us, to look them in the eyes, and still smile at them. Maybe shake their hand and speak decently to and with them.
It speaks of the measure of our humanity when we can look at someone else who is different, and still be that person who communicates with them in a kind and decent way.
Otherwise, we are the bully, when we try to impose our will on them, or use intimidation tactics on them to force their surrender or simply to suppress them.
Now, let’s get back to another important point, that of looking at the other person’s perspective.
If you want to really get a person’s story, do not talk to them, do not talk at them, but talk with them.
Everybody need their story to be told. It can be that many of them need help telling it. Many will choose to hide behind anonymity, but even as an nameless and faceless, they will want their story to be told. Give them a new name, give them the promise of obscurity, and they will let you tell the story of their life.
On the other side of the spectrum, exists the people who keep secrets.
Each of us might be guilty of this. Point in fact: we reveal just enough about ourselves so people can know us. We choose to hide some or a lot. We keep secrets. Sometimes it’s because we want to, to make a mystery of a part of our life.
Sometimes, it is because some things are private and no one else’ business but ours. Rightly so, and no one can insist otherwise.
Sometimes, it is because of shame, and we would have no one know them.
Other times, it is simply because we don’t feel like talking about it, because really, whatever for? We can afford to keep silent about some things because either way, it doesn’t really matter. It is done; nothing will ever change the past.
Some people are just quiet. They do not feel the need to fill the silence with the sound of their own voices.
Some people will be forever curious about other people’s lives. For such people, it very well is none of their business, and curiosity is not ground for meddling, but then what they don’t understand and don’t know about, they usually create their own stories. The stories more often than not end up being either exaggerated or simply erroneous.
It is unfair how such things end up, and it can be harmful, but that is what can happen when a person chooses to keep his story to himself.
Some of these quiet people might be strong enough to not care about others’ perception of them, but many might not be. Many would rather if people do not gossip about them.
In the end though, people should not make assumptions and conclusions on someone else simply based on their preconceived ideas and theories of that other person’s life.
People especially should not draw conclusions based on gossips.
So, full revelation, partial revelation or nil revelation, who knows fully what a person’s story is. But we can know enough to not treat someone like a pariah.
Read my short story His Name Is Red inspired by this short essay here https://myreadingpoet.com/category/fiction-and-short-stories/