Everyone’s struggles are very real to them. You look at a girl of merely 15 and she struggles with the reality that friends aren’t always what they seem to be, but a woman of 30 has already learned that fact. We look at her struggle and smirk at her lack of knowledge, her lack of realistic views. Yet, we can turn around and look at our own struggles and wonder how we are surviving. Perhaps it’s because our view is in the first character. You feel that severity of your own struggles because they are relevant to you. Yet, we look at another’s struggles and we don’t see the value of theirs. Are we truly so self-centered and arrogant as to not see each other as fellow Human beings? Do we not see that their flaws and their pain make them Human? Perhaps their flaws or struggles are that of mere wishing on our part, “Oh, I wish all I had to worry about was who’s gonna ask me to prom!” “Oh, look at him driving that fancy car! I bet he doesn’t have a care in the world!”, but you truly don’t know. You look at another’s life and feel disgust or envy, either wishing you could have what they have, or snarling your nose up in pride because they aren’t up to your personal standards.
Let’s take a look at the struggles of others for a moment. I encourage everyone to go to a public place, and “people watch”. I want you to sit quietly, and look around you. Take those first judgments that you feel and listen closely to them, and then strip them away. Clean your mind of those initial stereotypes and self-centered thoughts, and truly look at the person. Look into their eyes, look at the way they walk, the way they hold themselves when interacting with another person. Take a step back and envision their life. What was their life like, do you think? Are they from a loving family? Do they have both of their parents in their lives? How many deaths have they had to endure in their lifetime? How many snarky people have given them the same reaction that you had initially given them? How would you feel in their place?
Taking a step back and removing yourself from your own selfish thoughts and stereotypical ideals is how you can find the empathy that this world is lacking. We don’t look at each other as Humans anymore. We look at each other as black, white, old, dirty, trashy, slutty, nerdy, ugly, arrogant, dumb, fat, scrawny, retarded, faggots, disgusting, etc. This list can go on forever, and yet they continue to happen day in and day out. Every one of us will automatically judge a person on either appearance or looks. My own insecurities cause me to look at attractive individuals and despise them. I immediately expect them to be rude, full of themselves and dumb. That’s my first reaction, and I hate being that way. True, things in my life have pushed me into this way of thinking, but I chose to adopt that stereotype. I and I alone have chosen to use that stereotype to give myself a boost of self-esteem.
Truth be told, it really doesn’t make me feel better. It only shows my own ignorance. When I remove myself from those views, I find that many of those people are hurt, just like me. They have had pain, sorrow and insecurities themselves. So, who am I to add to another Human Being’s pain? Who am I to declare that I am better than someone else so much that I have the right to belittle them for my own self gain? I’m not. I am nothing. I am just another Human Being doing my best to try and make my life mean something. Will it? I don’t know. Personally, I am just hoping that it will mean something to me when I die.
I am not trying to say that we are nothing in this world, but we are all Human Beings trying to find happiness. We all want to feel good about ourselves, and to feel as if someone’s going to remember us when we die. As for me, I want others to remember my kindness. I want people to not remember that I was fat, or that my skin was pale and blotchy. I don’t want others to remember my struggles with depression, or my religious struggles. Instead, I want them to remember my warm smile, my listening ears, and my words. What do you want others to remember about you?