Sometimes I’m struck by people’s occasional inability to imagine themselves as not-themselves — in another body or with a different life. And while no one can know another’s person’s experiences, the act of thinking outside yourself….that isn’t normal?
I did that sometimes when I was a kid. Mostly derived, I believe, from physical differences between me and other people. But also, in general play. Being not-me (being a character, I suppose) was part of the fun of playing.
This idea can be extended to stories and situations of strangers. Like, I don’t know what’s going on with people but I try to trust them and give them the benefit of the doubt because I don’t know. How can I get super critical of people if I don’t even know what’s going on? Context is key, my friend.
How much I apply this principle to people I know personally and how I conceptualize the difference as me-imagining it rather than difference-not-me, are aspects I need to think on.
I feel like if people did this — fit themselves into imagined awareness different from their own and recognized that the stories of someone far exceed what someone can know in daily interaction with strangers — people would be less narrow-minded and bigoted. Cause if you look at all the crime and violent and deaths that have been mounting and thinking how would that feel, not as you, but the experience… How could you not see the humanity in people? (This question is directed at neo Nazi fascists, specifically.)
I’ve always had this impulse to slam logic arguments on neo-Nazi’s or set up questions in a way that it expresses the fallacy of their values.
Disclaimer: these are my uneducated opinions. I am not an expert. I only have strong, persistent opinions, acquired from listening to others, living life, and reading. If anyone notices any errors or misuse of words and meaning, let me know and I will correct any post or information.
Written 8/16/17 + 8/31/17