IF YOU ONLY READ THE BOOKS THAT EVERYONE ELSE IS READING, YOU CAN ONLY THINK WHAT EVERYONE ELSE IS THINKING."
―Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood
Normally, I really struggle having a desire to read books that everyone else reads, and I've never really been sure why that is.
I recently ran across this quote on Tumblr and, after much pondering, realized that I have subconsciously thought/believed/followed this thought process.
And, while continuing to ponder, I realized something else.
I shouldn't avoid what everyone else is thinking.
Now, if you know me, you know that I am snooty and think that society is dumb and blah, blah, blah. You know that I hate the trend of American living. You know that I am a stereotypical "hipster." I don't even consider myself a hipster--which, I've been informed, is a tell-tale sign you are, in fact, one (which could lead me off-topic into another, less thought-out and more emotional blog post...but that's not what this post is about, so I'll save it).
However, while pondering this quote, I realized that understanding another person's thoughts, another person's position (or thoughts, if you will) is vital in understanding other people, and continuing to pursue that goal of increased charity for this year.
I cannot feel greater charity, and continue to find the thoughts of those around me inferior and dull.
Considering others stupid is...well it's stupid! Every person has a story, a history, some complicated combination of events and tradition that trap them into their own thoughts and world and opinion. They have a base for everything they do. Everything about them can be traced back to something and their response to it. And that response can be traced back to other somethings and other responses. Every person is a complex chain of event and response.
I am. And I have plenty of stupid thoughts. I can look back on my short life and be ashamed of everything I've done, but I've come to understand that I am a chain of event and response. This has helped me to overcome shame about silly and not-so-silly mistakes I've made.
So why haven't I yet realized that about other people?
I am a person. Why should they be any different, at their core, than I am? We are the same animal with different stories.
That's what I've come to realize.
We'll see where this takes me.