I have been trying to show through my work how our relationships can actually to be somewhat of a monologue through which we are attempting to find a mirror of ourselves.
That behavior is due to our insecurities and unwillingness to accept differences in opinion, which make us doubt our own assumptions, and remind us of our inherent solitude, which we are always trying to escape.
If we are all one-of-a-kind, each time we meet someone new we have to figure out who they are. Since each of us is unique, other people can not required to think, feel, judge and act just as we do.
Naturally, there must be some common ground; however, it is important to detect differences accurately, so we can predict this person’s possible behavior.
Consequently, we begin the process of entering someone else’s soul, finding out its workings and, for a while, seeing things from their perspective. We call this process empathy.
This is not about trying to understand someone else while keeping our own experiences and opinions. It’s about entering someone else’s thought process and following its rules.
Of course, putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes this way is much harder; our own thought processes are, of course, based on our personal previous experiences. We are bound to make mistakes.
Those who want to understand their peers – beings who can be similar, but are not exactly like us – must also realize that making a value judgment about their way of thinking is useless.
Entering someone else’s soul is a completely different journey, in which what matters is feeling what the other person feels, thinking as they think, judging as they do.
Only then can we feel close to this person for a while, understand and even sympathize with them. That doesn’t mean, of course, that we should accept any kind of behavior or let go of our ethical concerns.
It goes without saying that we’ll find more affinities with people whose thought process is similar to ours.
But we must still try to understand people who are very different from us; it is an experience that will vastly improve our own inner life, because through it, we will encounter other ways of thinking and understanding the human condition.
Understanding and communicating with all sorts of people will always be an enriching effort. Through this experience, we will gain much more knowledge than if we merely observe life with a critical eye, which basically excludes and disdains all that differs from who we are.
Tradução: Amanda Morris