To learn is a wonderful thing. Life has many things to learn and its most important lessons seem to be the understanding of people and how their perceptions are evolved.
When we are babies, we are pure and have the potential to show many behaviours, from what would be considered the insane, to what the world may perceive as well balanced. Our lives are learnt from what is around us, who we are with, our experiences and all that affects us, whether it be the Dharma or the world of the material. Some say we begin as a blank slate but this is only slightly true. We begin firstborn as purity, not leaning one way or another.
As we progress from this state, our immediate encounters with other personalities allows us to emulate those personalities, but there is still no differentiation or choosing which of these we will take for ourselves. We copy behaviours and it becomes the us of the time. But like all things in this world, what we are today will not be what we are tomorrow. There are beginnings and ends to all things.
Our maturity than is the realisation that this is an ongoing process. To recognise that all people are the same regardless, as we have all begun in the same state. What we learn as we recognise this may very well determine paths and reactions for the future. If we are to become, we should always be mindful. Understand how the Dharma affects us and chooses our directions. The only thing left of our past is the information that we hold and that is encapsulated by our present. Our futures are still being written, and corners can be turned.
I returned from a party last night understanding a little more of a socio-economic group that are fortunate to have experience love in their family. This family love has crossed a millenia and their instinctual reactions, no matter how diverse their life situations are, speak of close bonding and a family first consistency. While a slight stranger in this group of souls, my new understanding of social interactions allowed me an insight into the characters that played out across the screen of my field of vision. I myself a small role in a bigger play.
As people become older, they become more aware of nuances in behaviour. They form opinions, no matter how short, creating a mental picture of the soul they are momentarily meeting. These than forms the mental image of that person and it becomes a generalisation on that character. Something of the Dharma.
If I were at that table but not involved in that conversation, would I have understood these indications of character and meaning? Something I will test the next time.