If you ever need some perspective on the infinite differences between us, watch Come Dine With Me, South Africa which throws four people from the mix of all of us with all of our differences, together. Think about it: There are the obvious ones like colour, language and religion that are then compounded with the less obvious ones like why I get excited about Meryl Streep and you about soccer. You then multiply these by 742.3, divide by the length of side c on the hypotenuse and when you really look at it, there aren’t a lot of people you have a lot in common with… unless you’re just common, because there is always that.

So when you pull the pin from your opinion-hand grenade and throw it into any sum of people – each with their own set of infinite differences – the explosion shouldn’t come as any surprise. I got a few scanty sparks from my latest skirmish, which is really just because most people don’t actually give a fuck. Lucky me, because if people paid any attention to most of what I said, they’d have Danvers reopened faster than you can say ‘doolally tap’.

Poe said: ‘I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched.’ I get it. Irresolute ambivalence is in such abundance these days and I personally can’t think of anything worse. Opinion is the fruit of the engaged, and with it comes the slopes formed by the opinions of others. How you navigate the slippery ones is based on the motley of your predilections, your mindset and your temperament. The result is as common as your fingerprint. That’s personality for you – our caliber to be compelling. If we were designed to think and love the same things, Hitler would have been happy to wile away the days braiding frau Eva’s hair and the rest, as they say, would not be history.

Intellectual intimacy is like any other coupling. There will be plenty just not that into you‘s on your way to finding some people that you have some things in common with. But getting there means being okay with the chaos in the conflict that often comes with refusing to live in your blind spot.

I refuse to live in my blind spot.

I have an opinion. You have an opinion. That’s personality for you.

We were designed to think, love and loathe different things. And in each passion and from every plight – within ourselves and in each other – comes the lottery of a moment to listen. And, with a bit of luck, maybe we even learn something.

Miracles happen as we trip.
But we’re never gonna survive,
unless we get a little crazy. 

© Dylan Balkind

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