One of the pivotal moments of my life is when I first realized that the world did not revolve around me. As I toddler I had had a fantastical theory that life was a movie and I was the star. Like the movie The Truman Show, the whole world around me was completely centered on me and when the people/things were not around me, well they didn’t exist. Other people didn’t have thoughts or things in their lives like me. No they were just characters in this movie that I was actively playing. The concept that everyone had their own inner voices, motives and ideas was just sooooo large I was unable to conceptualize the idea. Even now it’s crazy to think that every person you see in this world has their own crazy life movie playing. Like you, their moving about in their own little universe and that’s just what’s happening in the present.
There are many factors that make up how a person is formed; events, feelings, families, location, etc. Then even if two people have the exact same things happen to them in life, the way they cope with them can drastically alter the type of people they become! If you aren’t fascinated by that concept, well that’s okay, not everyone is going to be interested or like the same things. I love figuring out people. Who they are, why they do the things they do, what motivates them . . . helps me figure out myself sometimes and what type of person I want to be.
I don’t know what’s going on in the heads of others or what their concept of reality or this universe is but I do know that even though I cannot change the events of life that occur to me, I can choose how to react to them! “Life” is a wild and crazy . . . a lot of the times BORING movie that you are the star of and as the star, you control what your movie is like and what it’s about. You can even choose who your co-stars are and everything . . . until you have kids . . . you can’t replace or take them back! So although there’s many factors out of your hands, like you can’t control others, setbacks, etc., you can definitely take the reins of your own ship.
That said, it still baffles me the concept that everyone has their own little universe spinning around in their heads. I was driving through traffic earlier and I saw a girls’ soccer (???) team, probably some high school children (???), I don’t know. Whatever. I saw them and they were smiling and waving to the cars going underneath the overpass. Just for a second, I wondered what their lives were like. What was going on in their heads right at that moment? Did I have similar thoughts when I was their age hanging out with my team mates when I played sports?
I think of those things often, especially in crowds. You are standing alone (even if you’re in a group), within a large group of people where the only common denominator between every single person is that specific time and that specific place: All the participants are playing the star actors in their own movies in their own universes, everyone is coming from and going to different places, every person has gone through completely different life experiences, and everyone has their own little ways of thinking and doing things.
Profound thoughts of an 8 year old . . . And a 28 year old . . .
The world doesn’t revolve around any one person in particular however it is made up of all of our individual worlds, coexisting and merging with each other as we each figure out what kind of life movie we are actively participating in. Take some time every now and then to get to know someone. See what experiences make them do the things they do. Inquire of some of their thoughts or feelings about life. You may be surprised at not only the person who you thought you knew but the at the understandings you get from learning in a small way what life is like in someone else’s shoes.
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