You know that person you hate from the bottom of your heart? You’re like him. You’re just as awful.
Sure, maybe not in that aspect you hate, but you have way more in common than you want to admit. What about that person you admire? You also have things in common with her! Isn’t that awesome?
“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” — Jim Rohn
You can find this said all around the internet. But there isn’t any basis for this quote. Of course, it implies that you are most influenced by those people and there’s no denying this.
But you’re also the average of the 6 people you spend your time with. Of the 15 people, too. Of the 100 people too. Of all the people you’ve met throughout your life. And even those you have just seen in videos or read about.
After all, some of the things that impacted your life impacted others too. It may be a piece of news, a similar experience you had a Starbucks, a demeaning comment both of you received from different people. You may even have looked at the sun at the exact same time.
Sure, the further the person is from you, the less in common you’ll have. And yet, in some twisted aspect, you are identical.
Nobody is perfect. Just like nobody is exclusively composed of flaws.
The expression “to fight like cats and dogs” is a common one but do they always really fight? Since I was born, I always had a cat and a dog at home. And you know what they did instead of fighting? They had fun together.
Sure, some of it looked like fighting. My dog would jump on my sleeping cat and bark at him for a while. My cat would react and try to bite my dog’s tail. They’d play and one would leave when he got tired. A few hours later, my cat would be the one jumping on my dog. Then, in the evening, you could often see my cat sleeping in my dog’s fur.
It isn’t because you are extremely different from the next person that you can’t find common ground. My cat and dog are, obviously, widely different but they were found ways to appreciate each other.
I hate my previous boss for the entirety of my contract but, in the end, we had a similar view on how rules were to be followed when it comes to working. What is set should be followed. The reasons behind why we had that belief may have been different. Yet, we shared the same belief.
In a world full of people trying to look perfect, it’s easy to start judging others; to believe they act in the wrong way, say the wrong things or even are inferior or superior to us.
It doesn’t bring anything positive to the table and yet, we’re all doing it. We judge, we hate, we complain, we spread rumors, and we regret.
What’s the benefit there? None at all! To get the instant pleasure provided by putting ourselves above the other, we bring our capacity to be happy down.
“Pleasure may come from illusion, but happiness can come only of reality.” — Chamfort
It is only once you accept the fact you are, in some parts, similar to every other person on the planet, that you can begin to find happiness. The pleasure found in the illusion of putting yourself above or below someone else disappears and gives you a sense of being whole.
Forget your judgments. Focus on what matters to you and you’ll have fun on a path to pure happiness.
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Mathias Barra is a French polyglot living in Japan, who has learned 6 languages and dabbled in many others. Being a curious child full of wonders is how he keeps on learning and can’t stop sharing every tiny idea or discovery.