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Understanding my own strengths and challenges...

Aside from my mum, I have known and socialised with more (sheer numbers) and a greater variety (ages, demographics, cultures, races, sexual orientation) than anyone I know - and as I said, I've known a LOT of people.

Since a very young age, I have travelled and lived overseas, and socialised with the very, very poor and the highest stratas of society and influence. All this exposure means I know people quite well. I know what motivates people. I can pick a personality type very quickly and I'm am almost never surprised by anything anyone says or does.

As a writer, I'm an observer. I observe and make mental notes about people and environments all day long. It is just the way I am. If you raise your brow, I'm watching, if you lower the pitch of your voice, I'm listening, if your body stiffens as you speak, I can feel it without even touching you. You may be standing right next to me, speaking directly with me, or you may be on the other side of the cafe reading a book, I'm still watching you.

As a person with low vision, I main not see details, I'll admit that much, but you'd be surprised by what I recognise from having seen an action up close first.

As a person with ADHD, taking it all in but not focusing on much of it means I sometimes register information only after I've left the environment, but still it manages to seep into my consciousness.

I'm a bit like Sherlock, actually - emphasis on 'a bit'!

I also have a major challenge when it comes to people. Although I know, intellectually, what motivates a person; it might be fame or infamy, it might be love, it might be the need to fill a deep emptiness inside that the person is not even aware of, I cannot understand how people act and speak the way they do.

How can people be so selfish, so callous, so pointedly hurtful? How can people think it's okay to act and speak the way they do? How can people ignore what they ignore? How can people live with their choices?

Sometimes this not understanding how causes me to feel outside of humanity - like I don't belong, I don't speak the language or comprehend the culture. For a person like me who has been exposed to so many people from such a vast variety of backgrounds, that doesn't seem to make sense. And yet, there it is. My strength does not mitigate my challenge at all.


Bonnie said…
Why do people treat others the way they do? A question that leaves me wondering too. I am just the opposite of you, much less travelled, but whether it is close to home or around the world, there are people who take out their frustrations and anger on the innocent, and sometimes the only reason is, 'because I can.' I is a sad commentary on us as a society.

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