The awesome and awful thing about humanity is that while you can almost always find things you hold in common with others, be they experiences, hobbies, traumas, or diseases, none of us are exactly the same. The digital age has made it so much simpler to find others with common interests and goals, but it has not negated the fact that we are all different.
It’s hard to remember, sometimes, that the person screaming obscenities at you on the thread about BLM is also an avid fan of Harry Potter and you’ve both been sorted into Ravenclaw on Pottermore. It’s equally hard not to be unrationally upset by the fact that the person nearest and dearest to us who loves all the same things we do, still has differing opinions and views on other things, and you really should steer clear of (insert upsetting topic) if you want to keep the friendship moving without a hitch.
The thing is, all of us are who we are, and all of us change with time. We are who we are because of the people, places, things, and experiences that have shaped us. Not only that, but we all internalize and deal with all of the above in our own unique ways. This is why ten eye-witnesses will all give wildly varying testimonies as to exactly who did what and how it started, or three siblings raised in the same home will have completely different accounts of their childhood.
Is everyone triggered by having someone stand on their left or by a scarf or an oxygen mask? No, of course not. But I am, because of experiences in my past. Does everyone smile while peeling potatoes because it reminds them of their grandmother? No, but I do, and I revel in the memory of sitting at her feet eating potato skins as she peeled them, because it also one of the few memories I have from childhood when I felt one hundred percent safe and loved.
In short, none of us is any more or less than the sum of our experiences and internal choices. Each of us has an original story that only we can tell, and we should none of us discredit the unique viewpoint that anyone else’s story allows. Instead, we should all cherish the opportunity to see the world through someone else’s eyes.