Although personal growth occurs at a different stage for each one of us, it seems to come about when we are around people with ‘distinct’ ways of approaching life. It is then that our mind is provoked by what may appear as unconventional thinking methods we don't particularly approve of, or perhaps we do not understand. It takes only one person to partake in our exposure to ‘eccentric’ attitudes, mysteriously captivating us to start reflecting on the unthinkable, venturing outside familiar territories, confronting uncertainties, or defying long-standing taboos. The terms are many, but it all boils down to shattering our illusionary perspective.
We tend to separate ourselves from the ‘unlike-us-people,’ yet we feel so drawn to them. It’s as if we are tied together by an invisible bungee cord that keeps springing us back to them regardless of the length/elasticity of the cord, how fast our falling momentum from them might be, or even the distance we may seek to create at the opposite ends. It’s as if they have the ability to awake what is dormant inside us – desires we crave yet fear. Maybe we share another aspect of the same peculiarity and are not that different from each other after all.
Being around thinkers like ourselves reinforces our illusion of life, refraining us from thriving. It is like being comfortable at a certain height, unwilling to leap beyond the typical edge of limitation we have created. It takes guts and lots of courage to climb above where we stand. Perceptibly, we are held back by our mock horror from falling, not realizing that we can only go upward for maturity. Even if we fell downward, it would only be temporarily; as once we have tasted a flavorful highpoint of awareness, we become utterly transformed and elevated by the experience savored.
When the time is right, we will realize that personal evolution is one of the most fulfilling courses we can pursue. It may be hurtful or even frightening, but it remains a matter of staging and readiness. Another realization may unfold along the same trail… our inescapable participation in the progress of folks who cross our path and linger in our hearts, yet a gap of difference and wrong timing keeps us alienated. We part on separate paths, carrying plenty of aching melancholy, and hoping one day our bungee cord will somehow bounce us up to reconnect on a higher and equal plane. Alas, what comforts us in the end is knowing that we were a mere instrument on their growing journey, just as much as they were on ours.