Assuming For Everyone

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Herding geese- Assuming for everyone

As human beings we assume many things, but there are a few basic assumptions we make about that collective everyone, which are always contradictory. These assumptions have to do with what we have to offer to the world, and what we accept from the world in return.

1. I am different from everyone

Bathing suit styles - I am different

We like to assume that we are different from everyone else, uniquely talented and gifted in ways that are beyond the abilities of others. It bolsters our sense of individuality and purpose, and it makes us feel at least a little superior. In our contribution to the world, we assume we are not like everyone else.

2. Everyone is like me

Grebes - Birds of a feather

We also like to assume that what we like is exactly what everyone else wants. We often use our own opinions as a measure of public opinion, to figure out what people want out of life, love, entertainment and any number of other human activities and interests. When it comes to what we accept from the world, we use our own feelings as a barometer of the feelings of everyone. In our likes and dislikes we assume everyone is like us.

3. Everyone does it

Fashion and makeup - Everyone does it

Everyone has been used by the individual to justify all manner of human stupidity, injustice, and irresponsibility since the beginning of time. Because everyone does something or thinks a certain way, this line of thought makes it an imperative that you follow suit, irrespective of the consequences or better judgement. Too often, everyone is used as the ultimate measure of right and wrong.

Unique like everyone else

Uniformed officers - Unique like everyone else

On the one hand, we act self-assured in our uniqueness, separate from the rest of humanity. On the other hand we expect the rest of humanity to share our desires and choices, and use the choices of the unnamed masses to justify our actions. We go so far as to be disappointed when the majority disagrees with our pronouncements of aesthetics and good and bad, and hence holds back on their approval of us.

Assumption conundrum

Monkeys in suits - Same or different

In science and society we are warned not to make assumptions, but making assumptions is the way the human mind works. It is a strong evolutionary safety mechanism that helps us learn from past experiences and extrapolate the results to future events. Decisions could never be taken without assumptions because verification by direct observation is limited in its usefulness in many situations; By the time you have had the chance to observe something, it’s often too late to act on it.

Assuming a position of acceptance

Position of acceptance

Assumptions are necessary, but contradictory assumptions toss you into a confusing and counter-productive frame of mind. Either celebrate your uniqueness, accepting the inevitable mismatch of thoughts and ideals with others that results, or accept that you are part of the herd, and while you will live in the comfort of knowing you are in agreement with everyone out there, you are not as unique and radical as you would like to believe.

Don’t make assumptions

Peasants - Don't make assumptions

There is no right choice here, because each of us as has varying views on the balance of power between the individual and the system. To believe that you are both completely unique and also just like everyone else is not only the first step to a lot of suffering, it is also impractical and immensely silly.

So don’t make assumptions for everyone, and be comfortable with who you are, as unique or conforming as that might be.


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  1. Very true Samir, I am living all the cases ha ha with my two daughters, one 13 and other 15, I hope they can learn the lesson soon, and avoid all the natural suffering that everybody goes through at that age, that they have to be comfortable with who they are.
    Thank you

    1. I actually think the suffering is not a necessary step at any age, Magali, but I know what you mean. I don’t think you need to worry too much, I’m sure your daughters have a great guide through all the doubts and discomforts.

  2. It is a conundrum and I think age has something to do with it too! Youth wants to conform, the “breakouts” are considered by society to be problem kids. Adults mostly want to be unique. Even in fashion we want to follow the style for the time (conform) but still want unique clothing within that style. One can almost draw parallels between this behavior and that seen in team vs individual sports. Very thought provoking – thanks!

    1. If what you say about youth wanting to conform is true, it might be that I have never been young. šŸ™‚ At the same time, I doubt I was ever seen as a problem kid. I just sort of tried to blend into the background as much as possible, and fended of all attempts to fold me into the mainstream. I think I still do that, so not much has changed.

      You make a very good point about adoption of fashions. I guess that shows the same contradiction I’m talking about here.

      I’m glad you liked this. When I write rambles like this it’s usually for my own benefit, to sort out and organise thoughts that something or someone has provoked in me. It’s my own elaborate form of note-taking, so to speak. For these to be thought provoking themselves is more than I can hope for, so it’s great when others get it. Thank you!

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