The one thing I remember from going to Disney as a small child, is going on the ride “It’s a small world” and hearing the song over and over. Out of a weeklong trip, the only thing I remember is the ten second chorus of a jingle to a children’s ride. Many of you may have similar memories to me, but none of you has the exact same recollection I do.
No two humans have the same memories, and subsequently none of us sees the world in the same way. We all have various life experiences that, big or small, good or bad, filter the way we perceive our surroundings.
It seems like half the time we recognize this all too well. We do or say something, and in the moments following, our sole concern is how others perceived what we did or said. Its something that is so innate to our human condition, that apps and social media have now begun to exploit it. We see likes and comments on our Instagram as the approval of our cohort, and it lead us to be dishonest and only share the spotlight moments of our lives.
And the other half of the time, we are completely oblivious and in our own little world. Lost so deep in thought, that we don’t notice the pretty girl walking by in the library, or the guy across the table cramming for his exam. We get so wrapped up in our own thoughts that whole world drifts away slowly, and eventually all that is left is you and what is running through your mind.
We seem to forget that every complexity in thought, every moment of conflict, every single perception we have of this world, it all exists within our own mind. The guy across the table and the girl walking by, they have minds too. Minds that are just as complex as yours. They may function in a similar way to yours, but at their core they could be just as different from you as night is to day.
We seem to forget that every sensation and stimulation, every sweet nothing whispered in our ear, or scent of cut grass wafting to our nose, it all enters our mind and shapes our world. For some of us the smell of a freshly mown lawn reminds us of the ice cream truck rounding the neighborhood on a hot summers day, and for others it reminds them of the day their dad left and never came back.
My point is this, the world we all seemingly “live in” only exists in one place, and that is in your mind. Because of this, the world I live in is vastly different than the one you live in. There are as many unique planet earths as there are people living on this planet. Even if we had shared experiences throughout our lives, our perceptions of the world would remain as different as we are.
It’s a small world, because it only exists in your mind. Yet, our minds are moldable. They can perceive things differently one day to the next. Only you have the power to change the way your mind works. Only you can modify the way you perceive things. Only you, have the power to change your world.
We can choose to ignore this power, to live in a world shaped by how others perceive us. I would rather not. I want to live in my own world. The world that suits me. The one where other’s perceptions don’t really matter, because how could I possibly begin to understand how and why others perceive the way they do. My world is one where I understand that everyone is different, and that people will always disagree about something, where I can respect that and not hold it against anyone. My world is the one where I can be exactly who I was meant to be, and I will never let that bother me.
Thanks for reading,
– E.G. Scholl