People are like icebergs, that’s what I said to myself when I was waiting for an appointment and happen to look at a big picture of a beautiful iceberg from somewhere in western Greenland.
To update you about Icebergs- they are the edges that get detached from a big glacier. They float and melt when reach warmer water currents. The tip of the iceberg can be seen above the surface while up to 90% of iceberg can be submerged under water. That means that, in a given moment, we only see the tip of the entire iceberg which is above the surface.
Coming back to my first idea, people are like icebergs! We hardly get a chance to know the entire story of a human. During our day-to-day interactions, we only get to see smallest part of their complete personality or character. We may argue, that over years we develop an insight to know a person, but it is rarely true as we still lack the knowledge and experience of their true story. We can see people from our own ‘lens’ and our opinion can often a ‘reflection’ of what we want to project out for ourselves.
Our brain tries its best to gather information and generate a suitable frame to put this person into. We may do it intentionally or we may do it unintentionally, but we do it. We perceive things from what they appear from above, like the icebergs! And we don’t really care to expand our understanding to the entire picture, the entire depth, the whole dimension. Sometimes we don’t wait to have an interaction with the person, we can instantly collect the information from our best or worst experience that relates to the situation. After collecting the information, we may create a ‘quick’ idea about them and based on this idea, we change how we behave. This behaviour adoption without an interaction is the source of many societal abnormalities.
In doing so, we are overlooking the entire opportunity to appreciate and celebrate each other as humans. Human interactions are becoming increasingly superficial because we don’t care to pause, look, and appreciate each other. Who wants to listen? Who has got the time? I don’t know what to say?
We either marginalise or over-generalise. Either way it is superficial.
How about we tell ourselves that we would start valuing every small interaction we have with people and create an intention to know more about each other. I totally agree that we may still not know the entire story however it is our sincere curiosity and intention to understand others that is going to create a deeper and genuine connection.
What I am suggesting here is, during our day-to-day experiences with each other we begin with the understanding that, we are yet to know their whole story, we are yet to know their past experiences, we are yet to know their culture, we are yet to know their personality. It is important to recognise that, it is going to be a process to know a person comprehensively. Forming an opinion without not knowing the complete story is far from a sensible choice. How about we become inquisitive about each other? We start to appreciate each other for our differences? We start to support each other for the deeper problems? How about we become more willing to understand?
How about we grow empathy?
hold the door for you.
I may have
in your shoes,
but I can see
your soles are worn,
your strength is torn
under the weight of a story
I have never lived before.
Let me hold the door for you.
After all you’ve walked through,
It’s the least I can do.”- Morgan Harper Nichols
People are like icebergs, know that, there is more under the water.