You’d be surprised at how similar you are to other people.
You feel unique. Of course you’re unique. After all, there’s been no-one like you in the history of the earth, right? Right. But the truth is, we’re all very, very human. Boy, are we. Only we tend to get trapped in our own little universes, like those clunky antique deep-sea diving helmets. Because we can only experience life through our consciousnesses, and spend all of our lives with, well, ourselves, basically, there’s a tendency to start thinking only we are complex, only we do such and such, only we feel this way, only we notice these things.
But that’s just not true. Sorry. And I’m going to take this opportunity to take off that helmet. To list some of the little things that unite humanity, from that pimple-faced boy who works at the corner store to Oprah lounging about in her mansion having avocado facials and whatnot. You’ll warble bubbles for a little while, and the cold water of truth will rush uncomfortably into your facial orifices, but don’t worry – you’ll get used to it, just as you do with everything in life. You may feel a little wounded about feeling less unique than when you began reading, but there’s some joy in knowing that you are not alone in all of your fears, your quirks, your anxieties. There’s some joy in knowing that no matter what you’re experiencing or thinking, you’re probably not alone, even though it often seems that way.
Okay, let’s get the mild stuff over and done with. Everyone picks their nose. Now, now, I know it’s icky, but don’t you dare deny it. In those solitary moments, you’ve let your finger have a good wriggle up that nostril. There’s no shame in it. And while we’re in the shallow end of the pool, let’s include other natural tasks of the human body, such as urinating, farting, excreting, masturbating, drooling, etc. Let’s be mature, now, and face the often unsightly, animalistic aspects of being human.
Everyone procrastinates. It may seem obvious, but when you’re putting things off and feeling horribly unproductive, you also tend to feel that other people must be working so hard at making their lives better. The reality is they’re probably slacking off a bit too. Everyone has those days where they just lounge about, watching Youtube videos and eating themselves sick. Everyone has those days when they check the clock, almost choke on their own spit at the time, and work in a three-hour frenzy to get everything done that needs to be done by tomorrow. It’s cool.
Everyone has those moments when they stub their little toe on the corner of some furniture and curl up on the floor in absolute agony, wondering how unfair it is that so much pain can be concentrated in one spot. Those really suck. I mean, you’re just walking, happy as can be, and then your world is just cut in half by blinding, ridiculous pain. Stupid and annoying, isn’t it?
Everyone has those moments in public when they feel self-conscious, as if all eyes are on them. It’s just a facet of being human. We focus on ourselves, and ourselves in relation to others. But, trust me, no-one notices your bad hair, or that you stumbled on your way to work, though reading this won’t stop you from feeling self-conscious the next time you go out.
Everyone puts on a mask sometimes. To make socializing easier. Out of insecurity. You act differently around different people. You’re not being fake – it’s just adaptation.
Everyone has exploded into freakish anger before. People may seem calm in public, docile little lambs, but trust me, behind closed doors, at home, the woolen façade is frequently shed to reveal wolfish pelt and snarling maw. Hey, admit it, in the throes of anger, you’re even horrified at the way you are acting sometimes, voice ripping out of throat in an inhuman roar, porcelain face cracked. You wonder if you’re actually a horrible human being and would anyone ever want to still be with you after seeing such an episode. It’s okay. After all, your family still loves you, even though they’ve seen you in all your ugly glory.
Everyone has felt miserable and grumpy, as if all the light has been sucked out of their life by some vampire of the darkness. You know what I mean. You just feel off, dissatisfied, unhappy, bored, queasy. You’ve got a headache and life is without colour, meaningless, and you’re just a sack of flesh being dragged about in a horrid capitalistic, empty, vapid modern society. We all feel so alone in our misery, but trust me, I’ve been there, everyone has. We just don’t admit it, or tell people, because complaining doesn’t change anything and it’s unattractive.
Everyone has hurt or bullied another human being before. I don’t care how much of a goody-two shoes you are. At some point in your life, out of pure spite, you hurt someone, whether physically or mentally.
Everyone has felt worthless and inadequate and incompetent. You think you’re the only bumbling fool about, but that’s JUST NOT TRUE. We all feel like bumbling fools sometimes, but we all act on the outside like virtuosos who have our act together, so it’s like this pantomime in which you hide your sense of inadequacy because everyone else seems so confident in life but in truth they’re insecure too, but hiding it, because everyone, including you, seem so self-assured. It’s hilarious if you think about it. Ah, humans.
Everyone has hugged someone before and felt it was all going to be okay. Funny how great an impact a simple gesture of bonding can have. The entire universe could have been spinning crazily like the whizzing hand of a compass, but somehow, in that warm embrace, even the stars still, and the heavens cease their chaotic thundering and sing a sweet, tingling lullaby of infinity.
We all do these things. Some of them harmless, some of them bad, some of them good. And you know that? It’s kind of cool. It means that ultimately, we are equal. We are the same. Next time you start idolizing someone, placing them on a pedestal, a corona of heavenly light encircling their precious head, just imagine them sitting on the toilet, and realize that we’re all human, we’re all icky and angry and funny and happy and strange and unpredictable and messy. Next time you look down on someone, or hate anyone, realize they’re not that different from you, and that you’re not that much better than them.
We all sit on the toilet. We all cry. We’re all saints and monsters, and we all are ordinary and special. We’re all human. Yippee and hooray.