Even before we’ve really studied ourselves and developed some kind of understanding of the vast contours of our inner worlds, we’re presented with a difficulty in relating to other people, because in so many ways the personhood of others is mostly invisible to us.
We see our own commitments, cares, and intentions – and interpret our actions in the light of that knowledge. But when it comes to others we can only see their actions, which we most readily interpret in the light of our way of knowing the world.
Or, said another way, we see others not as they are, but as we are.
And how much difficulty, trouble, and suffering can come from that simple, basic, misunderstanding. Until, in due course, we find out how to soften the certainty of our own interpretations and open, with curiosity, to the very otherness of even the closest of others.