This is a thought that I’ve pondered often. Can we truly know somebody? Anyone? Can we truly know ourselves for that matter?
When you think about it, everything we experience; everything we ‘know’ is filtered through our senses and/or our perception of the information received. If you’ve seen a film like The Matrix or one of those quantum physics films/documentaries, then you may well get that idea of ‘how do we know what is real?’ Is something real simply because our senses tell us so? etc etc.
It’s a fascinating and complex existential debate, if existential is the right word, philosophical at any rate. I guess that’s the most fundamental question about reality and our experience of it, what is it?
So that’s all quite deep and unfathomable’ish, but what about when it comes to our experience of people? How we perceive them; their personalities; even their appearance. Is the person we think we know really that person? Obviously not, we’ve all been surprised (hurt?) by people. And I imagine we all have different ‘sides’ to our personality, different ways of behaving with certain people, and in different circumstances. So none of that is particularly new.
But one day it occurred to me that, actually, you never really know a person, as such, but instead a sort of ‘construct’. A sort of mixture of your experience of them, filtered by the way you interpreted your experience of them, possibly effected to some extent by other peoples’ attitudes and your understanding of those attitudes. In a way you could think of it like an ‘avatar’ on a forum or instant messenger etc. Even when it is a genuine picture of the person you’re talking with, it’s not the actual person themselves, it merely represents them. Not to mention your screen may be a bit screwed up and so you think their hair is kind’a green. Well no, probably not, but you see what I mean yes?
Anyway, definitely something to ponder. And remember, we give things meaning by our interpretation of them.The boy who watches others laugh from across the room and so feels left out, is often alone and left out because he is across the room. It would be very difficult for him to be included from such a distance. :p