Question. How much of planet Earth can anyone see at once? Practically speaking… very little. But even if you were standing on our moon (why are you doing that?) you would only be able to see 49% of Earth’s surface.
Does this mean that only less than half of the Earth exists?
If you were holding a Timbit (also known as a “donut hole”) in your hand, you’d only see a portion of the Timbit. Taking this example further, let’s say you are somehow able to flatten the Timbit so you could see all of its surface at one time, you still wouldn’t be able to see everything below the surface.
So we agree that even though you can only see a fraction of a Timbit at a time, we can piece together the information and come up with a mental understanding or a mental picture of what the whole Timbit looks like. Right? Okay, glad that we agree.
Now let’s go back to the Earth example.
There are those that maintain that the world is flat. Now, let’s forget the fact that we can prove that they’re wrong using data and observable clues. They’re somewhat right.
The average human height is around 1.65 meters (depending on your source data) which means that the average human can see about 4.6 kilometers of the Earth’s surface in any one direction while standing on smooth land. Most of the time you can’t even see past the trees, building, or whatever is around you. So from your perspective, the planet does indeed appear flat. Within our reality, and at our scale, for all intents and purposes of daily life, Earth is flat. But it’s also not flat.
I bring this all up partly to mess with your brain and partly because it’s late and I have a headache yet I still have to write a blog post. I also bring this up as an analogy.
The Earth is many things. It’s flat, it’s round, it’s wet, it’s dry, it changes shape, it’s immovable, it’s hurtling through space and spinning around in a bunch of directions at once. All of that is true at the same time. The Earth being wet in the middle of the Pacific Ocean doesn’t negate the fact that it’s super dry in the Gobi Desert. You have hurricanes happening in the Caribbean at the same time as perfect tanning weather elsewhere.
It’ about perception.
It’s about knowledge.
You take the bits of information you can observe or learn and then stitch that together into a larger picture.
And then you throw time into the mix. Just because it’s not raining right now doesn’t mean it hasn’t or won’t rain. You know that the rainy season is about to begin so you prepare for rain. But does it actually arrive? We’ll have to see.
I try to think of people in this way. People are ever-changing. You can never see every part of another human’s soul, mind, or personality at the same time. You see bits here and there and you piece it together to get a larger picture.
When someone is crying and hiding their face, it doesn’t automatically define them as a crying sad person. It doesn’t even necessarily meant that they’re sad at that moment. You only see one part. It’s only one expression of a narrow sampling of their being.
Every single person is a complex being with countless aspects of their being. You won’t see all of it. You don’t know everything that’s going on. You don’t have all of the information. People can be happy and sad, fearful and brave, or any combo of emotions/states at the same time. One emotion or state being true doesn’t preclude another emotion or state also being true.
Let’s keep this in mind as we interact with other humans in our daily lives. We each have a unique perspective, each with our own window into the world. We affect others… our actions can both do good and do harm. You can’t know how you affect another person—you might not even know that you have affected another person.
Let’s be kind and understanding to one another.
And let’s be kind and understanding to ourselves as well, because you are just as complex as any other person. It’s hard to figure out what’s going on with yourself let alone another human being. You might be “an introvert”, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t outgoing in the right situation. We have many facets to our being and we are never the same all the time. Labels like introvert help us understand each other and communicate, but we should never limit someone—or ourselves—by those labels. Labels shouldn’t create separate boxes. We are constantly evolving; we’re not static.
(Please note that I am having a hard time writing this blog post [partly because of a headache] but I’m trying to make a point that’s been rattling around in my brain for a long while now. Maybe I’ll read this in a week or two and come up with a more concise way to communicate it. Thanks for sticking with me, friends.)