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Thinking on experience

Chiu on This
A short and regular opinion blast from Stephen Chiu

‘Chiu on This’ is a regular and short opinion blast

Shared experiences are often an oxymoron. Our minds, personalities, souls, whatever you want to call it are the culmination of ideas, actions, words, relationships, impulses, conscious and subconscious. The self is complex. It is simultaneously said that the self is all we can truly know and the self is such that it is the only thing we cannot know. The self is what shapes our experiences and how we process it, feel it, react to it.

When that self comes into contact with the modern world, the shape of the self is changed by the new influxes of possible information access. Social media, the internet, smartphones, forums, there are more ways than ever to connect oneself with the conscious of the masses and share who we are, what we do, what we think. And despite how unique any single individual is, there are common experiences. I can mention my frustrating attempts of going to the DMV and millions of people across the world can understand the sheer frustration of dealing with bureaucracy. I can talk about the kind of idiotic happiness you get from getting a text from your crush for the first time.

So we think our experiences are shared and the ugly things of the world become just a bit more bearable. That many others we have never met have felt how you did. The problem is when people take it a step too far. When they use their personal experiences as a universal constant to shut down all outside views. To close yourself off and only deal with people or things or ideas that are acceptable to you. All you’ve done is cut off yourself from growing and taken the position that another’s experience must be inferior to your own because it happened to someone else.




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