Today my partner and I were out doing some grocery shopping at my favorite fresh food market (basically an indoor/winter version of a farmer’s market or farm stand) and we had a conversation about the violence in the world. We discussed if social media has been responsible for an uptick in violence (having a platform to share it with everyone) or if there isn’t really more violence and we’re just more aware of it because of social media and the news, or if there isn’t more violence but people are more apt to tell someone about the violence they’re experiencing, or if in fact the world is a more violent place, perhaps because of shorter tempers and less patience and more interaction between different people.
While we didn’t reach any real conclusions or even do any searches to see if in fact any research had been done on this topic, we settled on the fact that it’s probably a combination of these, and all of those things are really a reflection on the ways that life has changed over the decades since this country was officially founded. But as I was watching a TV show tonight and thinking about the incredibly complex and innovative things that people have done over the centuries like build the pyramids, dig tunnels, build impressive and detailed buildings, create detailed burial complexes, and endure through challenges of daily life without any of the modern technology or advantages that we often take for granted, it got me thinking about how maybe life has always been complicated and complex, but we’re only able to reveal exactly how sophisticated we’ve always been and still are now.
Yes, sometimes it’s as simple as “I was hungry so I ate the only thing I had in the house” or “I love you” (love has no real rational basis or logic as to how it’s established), but for just about everything else when it comes to people it’s not simple and there are so many sides and layers to the story, some that you may never be able to figure out or understand. Assuming that it’s as simple as face value or that someone doesn’t have a history could be a serious mistake, something that could hurt you or someone else. Maybe the safe answer is to assume it’s complicated and complex and do your best to be impatient and understand as well as you can with the information you’ve got now, and know that as more information is revealed you’ll have to adjust your understanding.