The other day a friend shared his piece of writing with me and asked me to give it a read and point out errors if I came across any. He coupled this request with a disclaimer: “This is a long, personal story and revolves around the people I’ve known. Without knowing all the people and places mentioned here you will probably not be able to fully relate with the narrated experiences.”
A few days later I found some time and embarked on to reading his long, personal story. It was about his student life. Quite a few minutes later, I was done reading and was surprised to find a pleasant smile on my lips. His story made me feel something magical – while reading through his student life I felt deeply nostalgic about my own. He was right, I did not know the characters and places that he had referred to but he was also wrong at the same time. The closeness of friends, the bittersweet teacher-student chemistry, the layout of classrooms, the coming of age follies and experiences, all this was greatly relatable for me.
I did point out a few syntactic mistakes but it was a real fun read. One that I thoroughly enjoyed, one that I finished in a single sitting, one which made me relive my own school days, one that made me realize how interconnected all our lives are despite all their differences.
Our lives? As in everyone’s?
I know, you must be thinking that it doesn’t make much sense. You are, right? Well, the thing is that we could be anyone, coming from any place, no matter how old or young, there is still so much for us to mutually connect with.
Ever since I shared my nostalgic experience with that friend, a strange equation seems to have clicked between us. As if chance brought us to some new common ground filled with so many different aspects of life that we both relate to.
It is quite easy to block out others on the basis of how old they are, what’s their gender, where they come from, what they look like, what they do, and whatever not. But trust me, finding a reason to share a common space with someone is even easier – as easy as sharing a smile.
Yes, that’s all it takes.
So, you may point out hundreds of wrongs in other’s stories but the number of times you relate to it is much greater. That is how basic we all are underneath our layers of paradoxes and insecurities.
Man you are making it so thick…can’t you just make it easier to digest?
Skip overthinking and just remember that the human fabric is held together by our connections at the very minimal level where sorrow and happiness rule, neither of which is complete without the other.
Anais Nin, the French-American diarist and essayist, shares how embracing interconnections gives way to maturity:
I opposed subjective to objective, imagination to realism. I thought that having gone so deeply into my own feelings and dramas I could never again reach objectivity and knowledge of others. But now I know that any experience carried out deeply to its ultimate leads you beyond yourself into a larger relation to the experience of others. If you intensify and complete your subjective emotions, visions, you see their relation to others’ emotions. It is not a question of choosing between them, one at the cost of another, but a matter of completion, of inclusion, an encompassing, unifying, and integrating which makes maturity.