We humans are more alike than we think.
The idea that people are different at their core is a common opinion I still can't understand. Countless writers have published extensive thinkpieces on the differences between groups of people, willfully ticking off aspects as though they were items on a weekly grocery list.
Of course we all behave uniquely; we have different emotional capacities and sensitivity levels, as well as outside influences that push us toward individualized outcomes.
However, the attributes typically (and inaccurately) cited in these thinkpieces include our stripped-down feelings and thoughts. These emotional fundamentals — what we feel and why we feel it — are not exclusive to one type of person. We all share four pillars that hold up our foundation, even if on a very basic level.
Every person is capable of loving someone or something. It doesn't matter what or who it is. Maybe it's love for your mom, dad or siblings. Maybe it's love for your pet. Maybe it's for a romantic partner. Maybe it's for yourself. Maybe it's love for your job. If you're someone on "My Strange Addiction," maybe it's for your life-size, inflatable pool toys. There is always something to love. If you still haven't found your thing, just be patient.
Originally I had lust up here, but I changed it because not everyone has sexual desires. But what everyone does have is the ability to want. For many, this takes the form of sexual yearning. For others, this could just be as simple as wanting an object, a job, a relationship or happiness.
We probably understand this one all-too-well. No matter who you are — man, woman, old, young, gay, straight, rich, poor — you've probably faced some kind of adversity in your life. As much as there is to be happy and excited about, there are always going to be outside factors or other people to bring you down once in a while.
It's true: We can get hurt, but we can also be on the other end. Whether we mean to or not, we hold the power to hurt people, both physically and emotionally. Even when we boil this down and apply it to our small groups of friends, all of us have times when we get in each other's faces or accidentally say something hurtful because we know what makes our friends tick better than anyone else.
Once we move beyond these simple commonalities, each person diverges onto their own path. How our distinct characters shine through is in the way we handle ourselves when we love, want, suffer or hurt.
You've probably heard people say some variation of, "It's how we act on our feelings that defines us." These words of wisdom have been repeated in almost every serious film or television show ever, but that's because they're so true. In "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," the great Dumbledore reminds us of the idea, and obviously Dumbledore is always right: "It is our choices … that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
Even though those writers and their thinkpieces are ultimately right about our vast disparities, we share a lot more in common with each other than we think. It's nice to know that, despite our differences, there are some aspects of life we all have to connect us together and help us realize that, at the end of the day, we're just trying to muddle through the same confusing sh*t as everyone else.