People are Puzzles

We're all so different. And we keep getting pissed off at each other because the miracle that is our human brain makes the billions of us each perceive things differently. On the micro level, friendships come and go. On the macro level, countries and races try to annihilate each other. What a stupid waste.

I just finished a wonderful book by Nathan Hill called "The Nix" (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016). Besides being a great story, I found that there was so much wisdom in there about human nature. I wanted to share the following excerpt from the book which I found particularly meaningful:

"Pwnage [an online game player and yes, it's spelled correctly] once told Samuel that the people in your life are either enemies, obstacles, puzzles, or traps. And for both Samuel and Faye, circa summer 2011, people were definitely enemies. Mostly what they wanted out of life was to be left alone. But you cannot endure this world alone, and the more Samuel's written his book, the more he's realized how wrong he was. Because if you see people as enemies or obstacles or traps, you will be at constant war with them and with yourself. Whereas if you choose to see people as puzzles, and if you see yourself as a puzzle, then you will be constantly delighted, because eventually, if you dig deep enough into anybody, if you really look under the hood of someone's life, you will find something familiar.

This is more work, of course, than believing they are enemies. Understanding is always harder than plain hatred. But it expands your life. You will feel less alone."