The world consists of 7.4 billion people, each from different backgrounds, each with different values, each with different lifestyles. We are only 1 of those 7,400,000,000 people: we’re not even statistically significant considering the population of the entire world. Yet our lives are so important to each of us. I freak out about what outfit to wear for the ~200 people who will see me that day and will forget about it the next. I obsess over what to post on Instagram even though my name and post will be forgotten in the next few years by the people who see it now. Each person has their own story and their own lifestyle.
What if we think about it in a mathematical sense? It’s like each person is their own equation. The trajectory of each person’s life is put into a single equation. Their experiences and memories are represented by the integral under the curve, the area of their life. But there are 7.4 billion equations, and that means there is a lot of area. I don’t know where this mathematical metaphor is going, but I like to think about things in a more concrete manner. Imagining so many equations and so much area really solidifies the fact that there are so many people (duh!).
Anyways, when I walk down the street or drive down the road, I look at each person and wonder what their life is like. What is their biggest dilemma right now and what are they looking forward to do that evening or next year? We each only care about ourselves and our immediate family and closest friends, but that fraction is still so small. Why don’t we try to come together and add our fractions to create a larger and more meaningful experience. I had the great pleasure this summer to meet new people outside of my school, and it was such an enriching experience for me. Learning about everyone’s lives and their interests and their future aspirations made me feel that I was truly adding my fraction with others.
But really, what if every time we walked past someone, we stopped and asked them about their lives? Everyone goes about their lives as if they’re alone and as if they can only rely on a few close friends and family. But in reality, we’re all bound by the fact that we’re living the same human experience. We don’t all experience it in the same way, but that’s the beauty of it. Of course, me being the shy person I am, I won’t have the guts to stop people and question their motivations in life, but I will continue to wonder what people’s lives are. When I walk past the happy couples, the eccentric girls, or the mysterious boys, I wonder who they are. But once in a while, when I meet new people, I don’t have to wonder and I learn about their interesting and magical lives.
I will continue living my small yet large life and hope to add my fraction with as many other people as possible.