“Humans have come into being for the sake of each other, so either teach them, or learn to bear them.” – Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
We share our lives with millions of people. Therefore, our state of happiness is contingent on understanding our interactions with others, which includes knowing and controlling oneself. Given we are all made up of our own unique experiences, passing or enduring interactions are complicated. We are all different; we are the culmination of our own individual experiences. Though we share our backgrounds more generally with knowing pain, love, and fear, for example, we are different in our approach and our individual evolution. We do not perfectly match with another person; no one has had the exact same experiences, perceptions, reactions, conclusions, and changes as someone else. Thus, rather than label another for their misalignment with our individualized social, moral, and ethical code, attempt to understand they may not have had our experiences in order to arrive to our individual code. In fact, they might have had different experiences from ours that led them to their own individualized code.
Understanding we are all different is not limited to strangers. Members of our family and longtime friends are subject to developing their own code different from ours as well. For instance, despite siblings sharing similar upbringings in terms of the social and economic opportunities or lack thereof, they take different lessons from shared experiences. In addition, siblings do not live nor are with one another at all times. So, siblings change in accordance with the experiences they encounter away from home and family. We all undergo change to our views, opinions, and beliefs. Examine, ask, and listen to anyone about what they believed in yesterday compared to what they believe in today. The point is to reconcile our differences with our similarities. We have a beautifully diverse world that has much to teach and offer, if patiently sought.
Whether we learn from or tolerate others, practicing self-awareness is key to understanding others who enter our lives. Also, understanding you have control over your thoughts, reactions, feelings, and moods is critical in combating any perceived trespassing occurrences by others. Remember we are all human and inherently flawed. Before reacting to someone’s trespass recall a time when you had a similar or worse reaction with someone else. Take refuge in realizing then of your own action from the past and how you are capable of redemption in your reaction to the occurrence before you. Try to remember that none of us know exactly where any person is coming from, what they have surpassed, and what they are currently managing. A miracle and beauty exists in every person; we only need to see.
Some individuals consider community as one of the reasons why we live. We are interdependent social animals. Every individual’s existence serves a critical role for the collective’s survival, which is why duty calls to uplift and strengthen all human beings. Albeit social theories exist and state that concepts such as poverty serve a beneficial purpose such as a warning to others, we are better than that. Harmony is much better reached with action, knowledge, and justice.