There are two memories from that night 20 years ago which stand out. The first is the feeling of complete and utter acceptance in knowing I was about to die. The second is the look on my friend’s face when we lived. These two memories are deeply personal. They will never fade for me. They are so important I’ve used them to shape the core of what I believe.
I think we all do this. I think we all have memories like these. Whether they are the results of major or minor events these are the experiences that stay with us. They cloud our consciousness and haunt our dreams. They are intensely intimate. Not one can ever be fully shared with or understood by another person no matter how much love or language exists.
We live in a world made up of the resulting perspectives. Because of this, there are incidents we read or hear about that every one of us will have a different reaction to. I can read about a crime committed and feel a heart wrenching for the victims that I’m sure will make me burst while another person can read the same story and possess an “I told you so” attitude towards them.
Much of this disparity exists because of the experiences we’ve each had. Each one separate. Each personal. Each influencing an individual in a way we’ll never know.
Think about it. Every one of the 7.6 billion people on the planet has gone through their own set of experiences which have shaped their individual perspectives. This means there are at least 7.6 billion different points of view on any given matter.
There are times when all our different perspectives are helpful and times when they are hurtful. There are times when the distance between them is easily traversed and when it is so vast we wonder if the chasm can ever be crossed.
However there IS one consistency we can rely on. Our differences are a given in life not an anomaly. We as a species are defined by them and by how we deal with them. When they come our way we can choose to leap across the divide or to make the distance wider. Neither choice is wrong or right, simply ours to make.
I've come to believe it is this choice that matters, not our choice in sides. After-all, with 7.6 billion opinions on any issue, and billions more experiences to back them up, how can we ever be sure that our perspective is the "right" one?
I don't believe we can be.