Are we all just faces in a crowd?

This has been on my mind for quite some time. In fact, I’ve been meaning to post about it for a while now. I cannot understand how anyone could like me.

Allow me to explain. I am not talking about any sort of depression (don’t worry, Mom!). What I am describing is quite different. Though on one level it makes perfect sense, I find it odd that other people can feel toward me as they do toward any other human being.

If you think really hard about what it feels like to exist, you will probably say that you feel like some sort of thing peering out from a body. While you encounter dozens, possibly hundreds of human beings every day, your understanding of them is fundamentally different from your understanding of yourself. Your friends, family, and acquaintances all behave in similar ways to you, but they cannot feel what you feel. Though you can understand and relate to one another, they will never know what it is like to be you.

It should seem a little strange then that to everyone else who will ever live you are just a face in the crowd. To them, your uniqueness fades into the masses—whatever individuality you feel washes away, leaving you standard and bare. Even so, we cannot help but retain the belief that we are special. Despite this reminder of our insignificance, the nugget of hope lives on, insisting that we stand out from the crowd.

We understand others as fundamentally different from ourselves.

We understand others as fundamentally different from ourselves.

It is perhaps this inextinguishable ember that makes it seem strange that other people could feel emotion toward me. Love, hate, intrigue and attraction are feelings we associate with other people. We experience these with regard to those around us, human beings we see as fundamentally different from ourselves. The idea that someone could like me, hate me, or feel attracted toward me invokes the idea that I am like everyone else, a truth some remnant of evolution refuses to believe. Does it make sense that other people feel emotion toward me? Of course. But beyond my rational mind some part of me wants to deny it.

Are we truly different from the rest of the crowd?

Are we truly different from the rest of the crowd?

This breakdown of the human experience begs bigger questions of consciousness and identity that I will save for other posts. For now it is worth asking a different question: are we as individuals as special as we would like to believe? Maybe we are. Maybe not. For all we know, there may not be an answer. In the meantime, I guess I’ll just have to accept the fact that other people can like me.

So what do you think? Is it weird to think that others see you as just another face in the crowd? Have I gone off the deep end? Let me know in the comments section below! As always, please like, share, or reblog this post if you enjoy it. Be sure to check me out on Twitter and Facebook as well. Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe for new content every Wednesday!

Click here for last week’s post: In Case You Were Wondering What It’s Like Going to School in Maine…

Other related articles:

Kid, you are not special (CNN)

We’re Puny, Insignificant, and Doomed–And That’s the Good News (Big Think)

How we read each others’ minds (TED)

Who are you?

Come clean, now: are you a zombie?

 

Comment question of the week

Are we all just faces in a crowd?

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