I’m not accusing you of anything (or you, for that matter… yeah, I saw that look). I’m not even accusing you of not doing anything! So what am I actually saying? Well, in a moment I’m going to backpedal and explain that my title was meant really just to get you to read this (spoiler: it worked), and my 60 Second Idea was that we need to get more …around ourselves. But before I say that, I want to tell you about my personal philosophy.
See, at my core, I’m a firm subscriber to the concept of what I now know as subjectivism. The entirety of the world as I see it has been shaped by all of those things that make my life mine. I know a different world of people than you, with some overlap, we’ve had different experiences, and focus on different things. And that’s awesome. We each have our own “bubble” that is the entire world; people are fascinating because they experience the same things in totally different ways.
At this point, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been getting excited about philosophy and not talking about changing the world. Kudos! Now hold on to your existential hats because everything that I just talked about is actually the problem. See, it’s so incredibly easy to get caught up in our own World that we forget that other ones exist.
Think about it: when you’re walking around through a crowd, there are a lot of people that need to just get out of your way. You’ve got things to do, and even if they may be cool people, you just don’t really have time to care about everyone else. Except, to each and every one of those other people, you’re probably awesome, but you’re in the way. That’s right, what I’m saying is that the votes are in, and 7,000,000,000:1 says that you are part of everyone else. So the problem here is that we’re disregarding that fact because we’re inclined to believe that we’re special. I hate to be That Guy, but each and every one of you is a beautiful snowflake, and a multitude of snowflakes is really just a blizzard.
Why is that a good thing, like the title claimed? It gives us unparalleled opportunity to change The World an impossible number of times. See, we don’t really need to “get over ourselves,” just more… around ourselves (told you!). Here’s my challenge, especially in the 1.5-degrees of separation here at Bucknell: step outside of your bubble, and try and see things from someone else’s. That guy who bumped past you on the way to the LC? Sorry, he just (for all you know) had a killer exam and was stressed and couldn’t sleep last night. Etc.
When you change the way that you think about people, you inherently change the way you interact with them. It’s all just very humanizing. And here’s the kicker: you might just accidentally make a someone’s day, which just changed their world for the better.
It’s no Kiva, but it’s a start.
PS: This was longer than expected, but I could read it aloud in around 50-55 seconds.