Growing up, I spent my formative years deeply connected to church. Not so much in conviction, I was way too young for that, but in schedule. Church was what we did all the time. There were bible studies, classes, choir rehearsals, multiple services a week, etc. I often spent five or six days a week in a church for years on end. The Bible just was from God, ya know?
I was too young to really question that and by the time I was old enough it was just one of those beliefs that didn't ever get challenged so I never bothered to even think to question it. I was a book worm who spent most of my time reading educational books I checked out from the library.
In one of those books I leaned about the Ecumenical Council. I had no idea there were more books to the Bible. i had never heard of apocryphal texts or even considered that I was reading some highly watered-down and edited version of this "guide to life" - because I had absolutely been sold the idea of the Bible as a guide for life. I learned that a bunch of politically-minded men sat around and decided which gospels counted and which didn't. I learned there was tons of information out there that someone just decided I shouldn't know, so they got booted.
What!?! I felt so lied to! I had done a LOT of church and nobody had ever once mentioned that some royal dude put the bible together with some of his homies. Why was nobody talking about and reading from these other books when we were at church?
Little me was heated, fam. Heated. It had never occurred to me that information could just be altered, or kept from you, or used in any sort of a dishonest or less-than-honest way. It messed with me that I felt like the information was kept from me on purpose. Keeping things from kids is how you end up with suspicious, nosy, and angry little girls who lead tiny rebellions.
So one Reddit user asked:
I needed to know if anyone else had the same sorts of reactions to that mind-blowing moment. Turns out no, I'm just extra and have been since childhood. Also turns out there's a lot of really interesting factoids that we didn't know or hadn't thought about. Here are some of the more popular responses. Some of these are still kind of messing with us, honestly. The one about making it three minutes could change a lot of lives.
There are real life castles that are less expensive to buy than a New York City apartment.
Literally Nobody Cares
Most people are too wrapped up in their own lives and insecurities to focus on your little stumbles. Try to think of other people's embarrassing moments. It's actually quite hard to do! And if I do think of something, I don't dwell on it or give it more than a fleeting thought - it's usually no big deal. It's kind of nice to know that no one reeeeeally gives a shit and maybe that one cringey thing I once said isn't actually that big of a deal.
Related note - when I realized that I would never talk to someone the way I talk to myself, it was a little light bulb moment. Self compassion is a long road.
Not Your Problem
Knowing that the way someone treats you is often a reflection of their own problems or issues and quite possibly has nothing to do with you.
If you have a problem and you completely lose your head over it, you now have two problems.
Actions And Perspective
We judge others on their actions, but ourselves on our intentions.
I remember reading that the right question to ask is not "Am I a good person?"
It's, "What good do I do in the world?"
When I started thinking about it that way, I realized I wasn't actually a very good person.
In psychology we call it the fundamental attribution error and applies to others as much as yourself. Basically the more familiar you are with someone, the more likely you are to understand their behavior as a result of circumstances. The less familiar you are, the more likely you are to blame something intrinsic about the person for the behavior being displayed.
For example, if a random drunk driver kills someone, you are likely to just dismiss them as a bad person who did a bad thing. If your best friend drives drunk and kills someone, you're more likely to think of it as them making a horrible mistake because they are having a rough time and it ended in a freak accident, etc.
That knowledge hit me so hard that this was one of the few tidbits from a psych degree that I've retained as meaningful.
During the last ice age, the global average temperature was only 5 degrees lower than it is now. It helped me understand why 2 degrees of global warming would be a pretty big deal.
If I Wasn't Me
This sounds really obvious but bear with me. Recently I "realized" that reality only exists in one form and that's in you; your brain, your body, your perspective. So wishing you were someone else, looked like or acted like someone else or had different talents is literally wishing you were born in an alternate universe or something, which people don't typically do. Everyone accepts that we live on planet earth as humans and not mars as aliens. So what I need to accept is that the only life there is ever going to be is mine. I won't ever have the option to like, select to play as a different character or whatever because once I'm gone this is over. Like, from my perspective there was no reality before I was born as myself and the instant that I die the world will cease to exist. I mean sure, other people will live but I will not. Every single about me is literally the only thing that makes sense because if I wasn't me I wouldn't be anything at all.
I, too, have taken LSD.
but I do get what you mean.
The longest a nicotine craving will last is 180 seconds. That means all I need to do is resist for 3 minutes. My last cigarette was January 25 2008.
It's OK To Whine
Just because someone has it worse doesn't mean you can't complain about your own problems. It's ok to be a whiny little b*tch sometimes.
Wash Your Face
No girl wants someone who doesn't take care of themselves.
I went a long time thinking girls were just shallow until I realized I never washed my face or got a personality.
Little Kids With Leukemia
I found out finances played a big role in this little girl dying of cancer in my hometown. It changed how I felt about healthcare.
I had my life repeatedly ruined by the VA and military after I got shot in Afghanistan. It made me vehemently opposed to any form of government healthcare for years. Then I watched this little girl in my home town die slowly from cancer over social media.
Her family did Gofundme's and sold T-shirts to raise money for the treatments. She died after a bitter, heart wrenching, struggle and her family was completely ruined emotionally and financially. It really shocked and scarred me. She was a beautiful, innocent, little kid going through an unimaginable horror. I felt deeply for her because of my own medical struggles and when I found out that expenses played a large contributing factor in her death it really broke my mind.
I still have the t-shirt her family sold, it's hanging up in my closet next to a bunch of my old Marine Corps shirts I'm too fat to fit in anymore. I really think we need universal healthcare. I think this kind of thing explains why the VA has been allowed to be so terrible for so long. If we don't give a f*ck about little kids with leukemia then how is anyone going to give a f*ck about a grown ass man getting shot in a war?