Stories make me understand
One of the things I find difficult to tolerate is when anyone says to me, “You don’t understand.”
I guess, my issue, isn’t necessarily that I have a certain lack of knowledge on a certain concept, because I have plenty of that. I don’t understand how to conduct heart surgery, and I certainly couldn’t save a pelican from an oil spill. I don’t understand how to play “Free Bird” or how to gut a pig.
Plenty of actions exist this world I have no idea how to execute. But there is something I do know, and it is humans and our emotions.
So, what bothers me is when people tell me I don’t know how it feels to lose someone, or that I don’t what it is like to tend to someone with a disability. Or that I don’t know what it is like to have a child serving for our country or that I don’t know what it is like to live on the streets.
My vast imagination allows me to comprehend theories that are something only the insane use to dream about, and I can use this imagination to argue my beliefs and thoughts.
The one thing, that I know absolutely everything about in this world, is to be human is to empathize. Too often do we walk in our own little world ignoring how bad somebody’s day has been. Too often do we think our struggles are the most significant struggles to somebody else. Or too often do we compare and use these things in our lives to say, “You don’t understand me.”
Odds are, I have been through something similar, as I have had significant others with debilitating issues, barely scraped by on my own, had friends serve abroad and have lost someone close to me.
I may not understand every single little thing about another human being and their experience, but never have I said, “you don’t understand.”
Because I am here to make you understand, and as we are humans, you will empathize, not sympathize or patronize. Likewise, I am here to empathize and understand. I don’t necessarily want to help, and will never claim to have all the answers.
Sometimes we someone to share the burden of just knowing, and luckily my shoulders are broad. And this journey isn’t anyone’s to walk alone, least of all I should know this.
So, if it is some thing I don’t, say, “Here, let me teach you something.” Maybe I know something similar, and we can exchange tales of how we got to where we are going.
I always prefer tales as opposed to barriers.