Thursday, July 22, 2010

General Theory of Specialness

Warning: Big Thoughts post ahead.

Occasionally, I have Big Thoughts. Occasionally, I write them down (occasionally x occasionally = rarely). This is something I wrote down in Scritch (my doodling notebook) a few months ago, and now I feel like sharing it with the rest of the class.

In an overwhelming quest to be special, we seek to divide the world into Us vs. Them; PCs vs. NPCs. There is Us, and people Not Like Us.

But this is not the case. Imagine, if you will, that every person can be represented as a dot on a page. Instead of flat cardboard cutouts that we so often see when we look at people, each dot is encircled by a sphere. This sphere, if you will, represents a story.

We are stories. I am a story. The twist of narrative plots and accumulation of small details have flowed from the past and flow through me to a future I can affect by what I do to the story strings as they flow in the present.

But every person has their own strings of story, not just Us. Even the simplest of people are at the center of a complex web. It is incorrect to stereotype people as it means we are trying to stuff people into boxes they may not fit, cutting off strings that go into their story. It is incorrect to stereotype ourselves, for this puts an artificial limit on our actions and our interests that cuts us off from the wide variety and colorfulness that is Life.

Some stories are in bright, vibrant colors that are easy to read. Some stories may attempt to seem dark or angsty or mysterious while at the same time appearing shallow or contrived. Some are written in invisible ink while others are written in a language few understand. Some stories manage to be all of these at the same time.

By categorizing the world as Us vs. Them, PC vs. NPC, My Bubble vs. Not My Bubble, the world becomes a shallow place limited by what we can splash out of the puddle of our understanding. But by refusing to limit our expectations of the Universe and the people it contains, the same puddle becomes an ocean. An ocean of stories. And, I suspect, a better place.


  1. Wow, that is a big thought. But an awesome one indeed a small part of my mind has been blown.

  2. And to think...right now a few of the strings of our stories are running together.....

  3. Deep...

    I really like it. More than that, I like your way with words. :-)