Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Discovering others

Not unlike many others, as a young college student, I was obsessed with the process of self-discovery. I was deeply influenced by stories like Herman Hesse's Siddhartha. I would wander off into the mountains for long stretches of time in and effort to “find myself.”

Lately, I am becoming interested in a more challenging, yet more rewarding process of discovery: the process of discovering others. This is not easy to do. We tend to see the people around us as merely playing a role in our own lives. Once these roles are cast, true discovery can rarely take place.

How do we overcome this tendency to cast the people in our lives into these confining roles? How do we better discover their true worth and true beauty?

The song With all my Love describes this problem and hints at a possible solution. The song describes a dream in which Michael is floating on a boat off the shore and sees hundreds of people on a beach. He desires to truly connect with these beautiful people, but finds himself drifting farther and farther away. “I tried to wave, but they didn't see me. Still, I'm not sure I was seeing them.”

In the end of the dream, the only way Michael feels he can reach across the distance and connect with these people is to share a part of himself. He knows that he won't reach everyone, but is content to touch anyone.

I have found recently that as I am willing to open up and share my true self with others, they in turn have opened up and shared amazing things with me. Through this process of trying to discover those I love, my relationships have been strengthened and I've gained new insights. We have grown together, instead of growing apart.



  1. Thanks for sharing! I agree, it is very rewarding to "discover" others. It's always amazing to me how much I can relate to people when I really try to listen and understand them, when otherwise I might be tempted to judge and criticize. There are so many amazing people out there!

  2. This idea has been on my mind lately. Thanks for articulating this concept so beautifully.