One of the things that are most alienating, causing disorientation and disabling from forming real, genuine connections with people, from understanding the nature of living beings, is that we keep forming boundaries in our minds, out of the need to classify everything with a label, to judge. The binary thinking. Evil and good are prime examples, how often people who commited astrocities are publicly lynched as inherently evil and nothing else? One act of such person can determine how they will be seen for the rest of their life. On the other hand, people seen as the “good” ones are rarely accused of anything, because nobody wants to believe they would do something seen as “bad”. Amusingly, the same mechanism goes for literally everything else that humans can impact.
The so called first impression. We are all aware that this effect happens, so why so little people try to get past it and get to know someone for real? People are either idolized or demonized. There is no in between, while to be human means being inherently paradoxical and diverse. Paradoxes are seen as hypocrisy, as if it was something always negative to show conflicting views and actions. Plus, people forget that person always is changing. You are not the same person you were yesterday. A year ago. 10 years ago. That is, if you challenge yourself, or be challenged by life, of course. Some people choose to stay in their comfort zones, and then complain that everyone around them simply outgrew them, and have no business to be around them anymore.
Change should be expected. Instead, people want to keep their labels so much, they call out people, who change their actions or traits to be “hypocritical”. Which is pretty… hypocritical, given that usually those same people claim to be oh, so complicated, while calling others simpletons. We will never grow, never form real connections with others and really get to know them, if we keep seeing labels instead of persons. Especially since once someone realizes you see them as nothing more than that, they won’t force you to change your mind. They will simply let someone else get to know them.
Aside from relationships, this psychological mechanism, projecting those labels on events, and nature also is keeping people from truly understanding them, and making an impact. If you view an environmental catastrophy as evil, you will be more prone to believe that it was caused out of malice (like people who believe that such things are caused by “God”), instead of getting to the root of the problem, and seeing what really caused this event to happen, so that we could prevent it in the future. Global warming effects, as prime example, will still be overlooked and will remain unfixed, until people stop seeing them as “unfortunate events” and start seeing them as results of physics and connect it to events that created them.
Both of these scenarios show how people want to remain in comfort zone instead of challenging themselves – to change that, they would have to acknowledge that other people are complicated beings, often more complicated than them, that it takes more effort to create relationships, and that those don’t happen “just like that”, and stay the same for the rest of their lives. They would have to admit to themselves, that in many cases they are part of the problem – like cruelty towards animals, famine, economical inequality, water poisoning, pollution, global warming. And when they finally see that they are the source of the problem – they would have to change. Same goes for sociological issues. There is so much to be done, yet very few want to start bettering themselves to fix it.
It’s more comfortable to believe in some coddling bullshit that lifts the responsibility from them. And it will, as usual, be catastrophic in results. If you want to be more than that, escape your comfort zone. Challenge yourself. Ask others. Ask about as many things as possible. Keep an open mind and learn.