I don’t know what it’s like to be you, you don’t know what it’s like to be me.

There’s so much I don’t understand.

I don’t understand the mindset you’d have to be in to want a baby. Or the mind set you’d need to have, to kill someone or go to a prostitute, or to want to jump out of a plane for extreme sport, or what it’s like to be schizophrenic, or be on LSD, or be a rock star, a nurse, or to have been a Jew in Nazi Germany. I have no idea what it feels like to be homeless, an extrovert, a man, black, old, disabled, and it goes on for infinity.

We often all get misunderstood and judged at some point, whether it’s to do with: sexuality, race, creed, gender, disability, elderly, mental illness, homelessness, survivors of war/other traumatic events, soldiers of war, prisoners, sex workers, introverts, HSP’s (highly sensitive people), shy people, INFJ’s (the rarest personality, 1% of population).

We often hear about how various groups of people are oppressed, and that some of these groups are more oppressed than others. This is sometimes called the ‘oppression olympics’. But how can we compare and measure oppression? The labels of experience are endless and we’re all totally unique in the way we view our world, interpret it, and experience it.

There are as many ways of viewing the world as there are people. We can sometimes relate to one another, but we can’t KNOW what it’s like to be a particular person, unless you are that person. And we can’t KNOW what it’s like to have a particular experience, until you experience it yourself. Even then, you’ll experience it through YOUR mind, not anyone else’s, so it’s interpreted in a unique way. 

Trying to imagine what others experience can help you find compassion and empathy for people. Judgement, on the other hand, could lead to discrimination, division, even hate and war. In my opinion.

Stuff I want to remember:

  • Don’t judge what you don’t understand. (Easy to say it, hard to live it.)
  • Everyone’s unique and knows something I don’t.
  • Everyone struggles.
  • Comparison is the thief of joy.
  • You can’t compare experiences or points of view.
  • No one can read your mind.

Just my thoughts.


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6 thoughts on “I don’t know what it’s like to be you, you don’t know what it’s like to be me.

  1. There are LOADSSSSSSS of movements, awareness campaigns and educational pieces on ageism, disability, mental disorders, homelessness, survivors of wars, etc. as well as race, gender and sexuality.


    1. It’s true that there’s lots of campaigns for all these great things. But I personally have a problem with the idea of ‘oppression olympics’. No one is more worthy the more oppressed they are. You can’t compare oppression, because everyone is unique. But it’s helpful to try to understand where different people are coming from of course. http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Oppression_Olympics

      I’m just throwing my raw thoughts out there, my opinion.


  2. This blog hits home to me. Awareness movements are helpful for flagging different experiences, but they do nothing to help people UNDERSTAND different experiences. There are things, like domestic violence, that people can be made aware of, due to really helpful campaigns, but the only people who really understand domestic violence are both the perpetrators of it, and the victims of it. Only they have looked into the eyes of another human whilst violence has been committed between them, and then had to look into those same eyes when one of them gets horny again in half an hour. Even me writing that does no justice to the unspoken recognition that personal experience grants us. If you want to live a life of understanding, then it follows you must live a life of experience.

    When Sir Thomas More wasn’t a fucking crazy murderer in his old age he wrote a fantastic book called Utopia about a travelling philosopher who had visited this wonderful place and had come home to revisit England. He is painted as this incredible individual not because of his intellect, though that was impressive, but because of his experience of this beautiful, exotic, and incredible Utopia. Ironically enough, ‘Utopia’ was chosen by More because in Greek it roughly translates as ‘No-place’, so this travelling philosopher had first-hand experience of something that couldn’t possibly exist. Because of course, to anybody who had never been to that place and seen those things with their own eyes, it didn’t.


    1. Yeah it’s interesting. In what ways would you say awareness is a great thing? Is it good to be aware of as much as you can be? Or does it make you depressed at the state of the world? Or just overwhelmed by it all?


      1. I’d say that awareness is literally what separates us from animals. Lack of awareness is like a puppy, it’s not the puppy’s fault it’s not aware because it doesn’t know what awareness is. But greater awareness means greater appreciation of all the work and care and value of the whole of human history. I mean only just recently doing my driving stuff have I gathered an awareness of how MUCH attention to detail has been given to the road systems in the UK. Hell, they could be better, but they’re also pretty damn good the way they are. Some very smart people have even thought about the position of naturally occurring bushes so as to slow the speed down of drivers, and that kind of attention to detail I simply wasn’t aware of as a pedestrian. Awareness of horrible things can be painful, but that doesn’t take the value away from the awareness, it’s still important. Also, it allows empathy, once you can be aware of the extent of someone’s suffering. That’s what I think on a Friday afternoon after a late night eating doughnuts and ice cream and watching youtube so don’t quote me.


      2. Thanks for your response. I think then, that awareness is important, it might be overwhelming and depressing and if you don’t want it, you don’t have to have it. But it can also create better sympathy, empathy, compassion and possibly understanding. Although you can only really understand if you’ve gone through the same thing.

        Like they say ‘ignorance is bliss’, so that would equate to ‘awareness is misery’. Although it’s probably not as simple as that.

        Check out this awesome video about the difference between sympathy and empathy. “Rarely can a response make something better, what makes something better is connection.” – Brené Brown https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw


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