The Space Between

The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think. | Horace Walpole

At no point in my life has this ever been truer than it is now. I’ve been super-down about society. Like, “Ooh, that is nnnnot a good look,” overload, paying attention to the surface and not the substance.

I constantly struggle with what to do with people who aren’t just disagreeable, but downright WRONG. Like, mini racists at church camp and the anti-gay, anti-intellectual, anti-anything-but-what-they-think-and-are-angry-about-it. Then, there’s smug turds who think only they are correct in life, but they’ll give the rest of us pity-love anyways. Gag me.

It’s obvious that telling them they’re wrong only has opposite results. And you can’t just tell people that they’re being stupid and expect them to come around to your side.

I just hate that I think of them with the same type of disdain they view others (gays, immigrants, minorities, etc.). Unlike them, my disdain isn’t targeted at their entire group. I don’t think of them all as deficient for who they are and what they do.

And that’s what makes all the difference.

How we view our differences, the space between us, can either give us great or lousy results.

I can choose to view people with empathy, to see what of myself I can see in them, or I can view them self-righteously and selfishly, searching for how they’re different from me.

It’s the difference between, “People are different from me,” which is self-based, and, “People are all different, myself included,” which is a more objective view.

That second approach leaves room for everyone’s uniqueness because there’s no preset standard to fill before they are acceptable. Others aren’t just different from us. We are different from them.

I won’t look at you and say, “You’re different from me” — that places you subordinate, as if you have to be me in order to live up.

“We’re different from each other” creates common ground. That example alone starts with what we have in common: that we’re different. Once the surface is passed, we can look at the substance.

And this idea came to me after coming across an old post with this image:

It’s from a post I wrote over a year ago, It’s All In the Way You Look At Things. The same premise that applies to viewing the space between Current State and Desired State also applies between “me” and “you”, “us” and “them.”