When I was a teenager and still in art school, I remember this friend of mine who was really close to me. I was one of her few friends as she was a foreign student newly arrived in Singapore. To her, we were best friends, considering that I was one of her first few friends in Singapore.
However, she was not my best friend. You see, my world covered much more than just her in my life. I had a life before I met her, and so my circle of friends was definitely much wider than hers. And so I felt pressured when she asked me if she was also my best friend. I didnt know what to say as I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. But the truth was she was only a fraction of my whole life. I had a wide social circle and while not everyone was my best friend, I did have a few best friends who shared a lot of history with me.
This made me realise that two people can have two completely different perspectives of the same friendship/relationship. So in this sense, my friendship with this friend can never be equal.
Taking relationships/friendships out of the picture – we can also have very different perspectives about life. And certainly each of our worldviews depends largely on how much life’s experiences, how much depth and experiences we have had. It is not so much the circumstances but the depth of the experiences that makes us so different.
I have found that too many people just want to skim through life, glossing over it like it is some magazine. And there are also some people who would take on life like it was some thick novel devouring every word and digesting it fully. The interesting thing is what is deep for one person, may just be the tip of the iceberg for another.
The shallower our experiences and understanding, the smaller our perspective of the world. The one with the deeper grasp can always recognize and understand the lessons that the one with the shallower grasp is going through. Unfortunately, this does not always work the other way around. The one who has a shallower grasp can never see or understand as deep as the other.
For this reason, I do not believe that everyone is equal. We are only equal to our depth and understanding of ourselves and the world but not with each other. And thinking that we are equal only raises a false hope. I am not talking about equality in the sense of having equal rights or being equal in status or anything like that. I am talking about equality in understanding, perspectives, experiences.
If you are seeking more meaning in life, you need to dive deeper into your own life….
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