Stop Living Your Life Through Someone Else’s Thoughts

As French author André Gide once said: “L’expérience instruit plus sûrement que le conseil.” Its closest English translation would be “Experience is the best teacher.” But why are most young people nowadays not living up to this adage? Probably a question of objectivity, interpretation and over-information.

Indeed, objectivity is a concept related to truth and reality. It is the notion that something is true outside our personal biases. Saying that a rectangle is rectangle is objective. Saying that something is good or bad, whether a big group of people agree with you or not, is everything but objective. Furthermore, nowadays, we are literally poured over by information. It is coming from everywhere and it is harder every day to unravel true from false, good from bad. Hence it is harder to recognize neither objectivity nor subjectivity to the information we’re given. On top of that, we, the youth, are raised and living in a generation where other people’s opinions about yourself are more important than your own experience. We exist in a cluster of people where you talk more about what people think about you, and what you think about others, rather than telling your experiences.

In the verge of all this, articles on different social medias and online websites about what one’s self experienced are flourishing. And those are the climax of our unwholesome generation. Indeed, those are just pieces of people’s experiences, and that’s what makes them interesting, and dangerous. First, why would tell on an online public media how your special someone dumped you, how you love your parents, or what things you should do when you are 20? All those are personal experiences, and unless the idea of knowing that the world could know how you have been ditched by people important to you, why would you post it? It is maybe time for our generation to realize that our actions have impacts, so does an article on the Internet. And it probably does have a bigger impact than we could only imagine. But why are they interesting? Because of their own essence, because they are pieces of experiences, and that we like to read those kinds of things, because they are easy to.

But most of all, why are they dangerous? Because you think you can relate. Most of them are written in way that big aspects and notions come out. And these are the things you think you can relate to, things you think you can pull off objectivity from an individual subjectivity. However, those are just someone’s thoughts about something that person experienced. This is what that particular human being pulled out of his thinking about his particular experience. And that is what makes it so particular: it is subjective; it is the result of someone’s life, someone’s experiences, someone’s context.

So, no, you cannot relate in any way to it unless you’re the person herself. Your own life, your own context, your own experiences are what is building you, what is your essence. And even if it seems that you have a similar experience to the one someone described in a short article, you are far from having the same experience.

I beg all of you out there, all of you, stop living through other’s people experience, stop thinking you are doomed, stop thinking you can relate to one other’s through a short article. Stop all this and live your own experiences, make your own experience, think for yourself. Do not be scared of doing things, because youth is the age to make mistakes. And because, this is what makes you rich, interesting, and loving.

Maybe my mom died last month, maybe I love my dad, and maybe I hate my siblings. But if either of these are true; you, who are reading me, are the last persons I would want to know it. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

featured image – Drew Coffman

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