*Wrote this back in November of 2013, more apt than ever…
Have you ever met a person whose reality just didn’t click with the majority of others? They are in their own little world and completely unable or unwilling to notice that what they are saying makes no sense to anyone else. I have discussed before how perception is reality and I am starting to wonder if the trend towards individual realities is contributing to the societal disconnect that has spread like a poison throughout much of the world.
Husband has a friend who, more and more, I am starting to dread having to interact with. He has no regard for the rules of my house. When he visits he constantly drinks all our beverages (bottles of alcohol/entire boxes of K-cup coffee), eats all our food, hogs the computer, leaves the toilet seat up after getting piss all over the floor and has even lit cigarettes inside knowing full well this is a smoke free household. I woke up at 6 am because I heard someone in the kitchen and it ended up being him helping himself to several peanut butter sandwiches in the dark. He dominates the conversations but never makes any sense and isn’t willing to listen to any input from others. When I hear he is coming my first instinct is to hide my coffee and make plans to be out of the house for the duration of his visit. If you ask him he will tell you there is nothing wrong with him and it is the rest of the world that is wrong.
He is just one of the people husband or I know that are really disconnected from general society. There is another guy who spends all his time holed up in his apartment watching questionable documentaries and playing Xbox…his ability to socialize with others without conflict has dramatically decreased over the years. One lady I know drifts through life naively refusing to see the world for what it is and won’t listen to anyone unless they are devoutly religious or famous in some way. There is no way to have an educated discussion with her without getting so frustrated that you just have to walk away. They both are absolutely positive they are perfectly fine and it is everyone else that has a problem.
Even within my family people raised by the same people took completely different views on the same lessons. Some of us practice responsible lifestyles where we don’t spend outside of our means, exercise regularly and eat a relatively healthy diet. We are always willing to help out others and are always there for our family members in need. Others went the opposite direction. They think there is nothing wrong with maxing their credit cards and then begging the rest of us for money. They bitch about how they feel like shit but have no interest in exercise or eating healthy and we should just be sympathetic to their complaining. They are always busy if we need something but we need to drop everything if they need help.
Their reality is so different from ours and it causes a disconnect between us. The further the divide, the shakier the bridges between us becomes. I foresee a time in the future where I won’t be willing to meet them halfway on a dangerously fragile bridge and it will be set on fire in a sweet release that leaves me with less stress but possibly more guilt. I wonder if this is the same feeling many other people have when they encounter someone whose reality is so far away from theirs. I wonder if the same questions run through their heads. Is it worth building a bridge to cross the divide? Do you have the time and patience you need to build and maintain a connection? Is the other side going to put any effort into it too?
As less and less people are willing to put forth the effort to make those connections the realities pull even further apart. It is a ripple effect that is turning into a wave of disconnect.