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Isn't it pretty?

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

All The World Is A Stage

Do we ever really know who we are? Or who anyone else is? I sometimes wonder how different people would describe me if asked and how their accounts would vary from one to the next. I feel like my mother, or my friend, or my classmate, or my boss would give incredibly different descriptions of me. And the truth is, I AM a different person depending on who I am relating to at the moment. There are some people who I can talk to about certain things, and there are other people I can talk to about other things. I don't know if there is one person who can relate to me on all my levels. I am not sure I can recognize all my levels. Different people bring out different things in me. Something I have never considered before, when presented to me in a new light, can quickly become a whole new world to me, that I am going to choose to make a part of me. And I am so enriched by having this new dimension in my life, but it also makes things just a small bit more difficult, in that it makes me just that much more complex, and harder to relate to. If this is the case for me, then how much more do I not know anyone else? I am constantly surprised by things I find out about different people. Things that just don't seem to fit with my perception of those people. But it is a part of them. I guess part of the problem is that we judge other people based on our own experience. How else can we? But our own experience is so different from the next person's. It's like we are always looking through tinted glasses. We can never really see the whole of anyone else, because we are not going to be with any other person all the time. I think Shakespeare was very aware of this. His plays are full of misreading and misunderstanding other people. He said, incredibly accurately, "All the world is a stage, and we are all merely actors." I can't imagine any truer words. We act all the time. We act the roles that we think others want us to be. And if we say that we don't, then we are acting to ourselves. The problem is, do we have a real self, a true self? Is there one true persona inside that is who we really are, and are we capable of ever being who we really are? Does it even exist?

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