I mean, I KNOW intellectually that all the people around me, all the people everywhere, even YOU, are conscious beings, living and working and loving and thinking all the time just like me, but I don't think about it all the time, and I bet you don't either, because most of the time we're each living in a self-contained vacuum of one. We ARE the center of the universe, each and every one of us, and to suddenly realize, if even for a second, that that is true for each person you see as you go about your daily life is mindboggling, awesome and the stuff of major head trips.
Luckily, some kind of self-defense mechanism immediately snaps into action and our attention is distracted and we move on to thinking about our to-do lists or what to make for dinner or what possessed the DMV to give the idiot in front of you a driver's license, or why it only seems to snow in Canada and Michigan and New England and NEVER HERE IN SWEDEN where Polar Bears Roam The Streets, for godssake.
Maybe if everyone in the world, and I mean everyone, not just you enlightened globally-minded Internet junkie types, but EVERY ONE, thought about this more often, it would change the world. If you really stop and realize that the colleague you think of as annoying or stupid is JUST LIKE YOU, and so is the person whose religious views are completely opposite yours, and so is the cousin who lives halfway around the world, and so is the faceless enemy: getting through their life, thinking about their children or their mortality or their next chance to show off what they can do. JUST LIKE YOU.
I don't mean that they are smart like you, or pretty like you or talented and creative and wise like YOU. I mean, in the most fundamental sense of likeness. We are all just like you. You are all just like me!
Don't you think that the world might be a better place if we all took a few moments every now and then to acknowledge the actual humanity of others? It's much less easy to denigrate or hate or disdain or ignore people if they suddenly become PEOPLE to you. Usually, only the people that we care about are real to us or the people that we are actually talking to or interacting with at any given moment. It's strange and weird and delightful to realize that people are living out their lives, all over the world, all the damn time. It's strange and weird and delightful to think about you sitting there reading this and nodding your head or rolling your eyes or clicking the link to tell me what you think about this or wondering what exactly I am smoking and where can you get some?
There are two types of people—those who come into a room and say, "Well, here I am!" and those who come in and say, "Ah, there you are." —Frederick L. Collins