An age of understanding

Nate Smith

I had one of those moments the other day – you know, when you’re going about your pointless daily tasks and stumble upon something great. Most of the time these thoughts are swept away by my diversion of choice, but this time was different.

I got off of the bus and started toward my house at the end of what seemed like a long day. Right as I started up the stairs of my trusty stoop it hit me. The one thing I was missing from my life was understanding. Every problem I’ve ever encountered in my life was due to a lack of understanding.

That time I got suspended in middle school for writing my name in alcohol on the lab table and set it on fire was all a big misunderstanding. My teacher didn’t understand that I was upset after seeing the Daredevil movie with Ben Afleck and was acting out. If he showed me a little empathy, my principal would have understood that Daredevil was one of my favorite properties and seeing it ruined on screen hurt me deeply.

I feel like my last relationship could have been saved if understanding went two ways. She would have been happier if I understood that girls need constant reassurance. I would have been happier if she understood that in Final Fantasy III, geomancers take time to level up and there’s nothing I can do about that.

My roommate has already grasped this concept and is now a master at it. The other night a guy threw up on his shoes while asking for a cigarette outside the pub. My roommate wasn’t even angry. It was because he understood that all of this happened because the guy needed the cigarette more than everyone’s ridicule. If he had gotten the cigarette in the first place without any trouble, who knows? The whole situation possibly could have been prevented.

I feel like this concept is so basic that it can be applied to any situation with enough patience. Wars can be ended. Don’t get me wrong, some viewpoints are just stupid, but think of the applications. Years of political back and forth could be settled. All because people just stopped and seriously considered the other side. I mean really give a go at it, no matter how silly the opposition seems. Even if the understanding isn’t genuine, fake it ‘til you make it. Who knows, you might just stumble across some empathy for your trouble.

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