I recently chatted with an American woman who thinks the mainstream media is lying and the pandemic is a hoax and there is no point in using masks.
I tried for a moment to present different perspectives, such as perhaps the mainstream media is doing their best in this confusing situation and has ended up reporting the view of the majority of scholars, and maybe instead of a hoax this is a global attempt to deal with a complex situation and that I see mask-wearing as a small gesture of solidarity and a sign of the will to show a united front in this difficult situation.
And then there is the fact that not everyone has the training, capacity, and will to figure out what even the experts seem to be confused about. I certainly haven´t.
But the American was angry. She thinks we’re being lied to.
Gradually I understood what was clear from the beginning: We live in parallel universes. There is no wormhole through which we can enter each other’s universes.
The American woman and I have lived different lives, in different societies. We, therefore, have a different experience of reality.
Her experience is shadowed by suspicion. Mine is colored by trust.
I came to this conclusion: it would be wisest for us to just accept that we do not share the same experience of reality – because we don`t.
Instead of arguing, it would be best to focus on living in our own universes and make ourselves as comfortable as possible.
When meeting people from other universes, it would be smart to forget questions that trigger and focus on universal questions like “Which book did you read last” or “Would you rather drink dark or light roasted coffee” or “Do you like mushroom picking”.
If people in other universes get on your nerves, there is a simple solution: Avoid talking or spending time with them.
There are enough people in the world for all kinds of universes.
The most burning problem in the world is not the pandemic or the US presidential election or even climate change, but the inability of the passengers to live in harmony on Spaceship Earth. This is why we have such a mess right now.
We live in a time of confrontation and polarization. It would be best to just take a breath and focus on chatting with like-minded people.
Perhaps then, gradually, as emotions cool and we calm down, we can start communicating with those living in other universes again.
But not yet.
I finish this post with the words of the Dire Straits:
“There’s so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones”
– Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms