Seven Things I Learned About People

It seems other people have been enjoying reading these debriefing posts as much as I have had writing them. I think that's one wonderful thing writing does. You hear (well, read) other people voicing out things you have learned and experienced yourself, and you somehow feel you aren't alone in this often disconnected world. And when readers nod their heads with you, well then you, as a writer, you start to realize there are kindred spirits out there who get you.

So let us go on with debriefing post #5. Seven things I learned about people:

1. People are people - they will hurt you (consciously or unconsciously) but that does not mean you should love them any less. You should actually love them more, because the people who hurt other people are likely to have been hurt greatly, too. And guess what? The ones closest to you are the ones who will hurt you the most. Yeah, we already know that. But this became more real to me here. And by closest, it includes those close in proximity and close in heart-connectivity.

2. Stereotypes are helpful, but I believe we should do away with them for the most part. I once had my hair done by a tattooed, pierced, gangster-type guy with the help of his denim-clad friend (another young man). Take note I wasn't getting spiky green hair. I was retouching my roots and upgrading my locks to a caramel-orange hue.

3. People come and go. As much as we want people to have a permanent place in our lives, their time with us - as with our time with them - is limited. But whether it be a night, three days, a week, a year, two years, six - we should just make sure we make good memories and see to it that we live with love.

4. People have interesting lives and have interesting stories to share. You just need to ask questions and get to know them enough. I've known people where actually ballerinas, heavy metal singers, cooks, and writers wearing corporate attire in disguise.

5. Age is often just a number. You can't gauge a person's maturity by their age. And you can't gauge a person's age by simply looking at them. The other day, we were trying to guess some colleagues' ages. I realized I mostly peg everyone in the workforce to be in their late 20s. And I get surprised when I realize they are either actually much younger or much older.

6. People change. They aren't this memory you can put into a tiny little box. The years will take its toll and you'll realize you aren't all the same people you were before. But that's good. I read from somewhere that the only things that don't go through some sort of transformation are dead things.

7. Nobody is living the perfect life. Social media may say otherwise, but everyone has their own seasons, their own heartaches at times. "Perfect" people can have their petty fights, clogged toilets to take care of, and - you never know, they might be trying their hardest to fight off their own demons, too. So two words of advice (for everyone and for myself): first, do not compare; and second, be kind.

I suppose, as we get older, we'll learn even more about people, and this list could grow from seven to seventy. Well, even though I consider myself an old soul, these seven things are plenty enough for now.

Taken September 2014 at Laman Seni.

P.S. Oh, I have also been processing this journey through poetry. If you like poetry (or if you are trying to force yourself to like poetry), have a look at my little project here. Cheers!