“The mind is everything. What you think you become.”
Regardless of whether Buddha said it or not, it's quite true. Our thoughts translate into our actions, words, and beliefs and these are the things which make us up.
But here's a different thought. What you think of other people defines who they are.
At first this might seem ridiculous. If 'what you think you become' then obviously other people's thoughts define them. But the way in which we view the world is an extension of our thoughts. The way we view another human being is by how we think of them, which means people are who we believe them to be.
For example, a stranger on the train. They are dressed in jeans which have glitter on them. They have on sneakers that are black and have a design painted on one side. They are wearing a t-shirt with a print of a tiger's face on it. They have long hair with green and red streaks in it.
I may look at them and think: "What a quirky, artistic individual."
Or I may think: "What a funny, unique person."
Or I may think: "What a freaky weirdo."
Is that person any of those things? My description was purely factual so any 'feeling' I have about who they are and what their personality is is based purely on my thoughts which are based on my own experiences and perceptions.
So what about someone you "know"? I put it in quotes because the argument is, can you really know someone when what you think colours how you see the world?
Try describing a member of your family without using a storyline. By a storyline I mean any embellishing words or descriptions which are not indisputable fact. If you're not sure or are having difficulty then go ahead and write down your description as you would but then cross out all the things which cannot be 100% verified as fact.
An interesting result, isn't it? We cannot truly "know" someone because how we see a person, no matter how close to us they may be, will always be through the lense of our own thoughts, ideas and experiences.
That being said, how might this change the way you think about other people? Please share your thoughts below.