Last night I was officially a student for an hour in the Asian Civilisations Museum, attending the last round of Curator Tours for the special exhibit ‘Devotion and Desire’. The company of these two just made the learning experience listening to the curator share his knowledge, even more special than it already was.
This exhibit deeply explored the many religions and faiths that South-East Asians have been so devoted to- how they came about, how they have been influenced by various countries (in many aspects from the practices, depictions to the arts) and most of all ,how they have evolved over time and travels. I thought it was interesting that we can never be sure of the origins of these devotions because with every human interaction through trade and travel, something new was learned and something different was changed in the way these devotions were practiced.
The same way how that transmission of religions cause great influence each time, I see the power of people’s influences before my eyes everyday and I am the recipient of much knowledge and emotions whenever I spend time with people.
To me, there is so much more to a person than his/her face, name and age. There is the substance in every person that makes us deeper than we appear and it takes time to truly go through all the layers, one by one, and understand each thought and perspective of a single person. The amount of sophisticated factors that are interwoven to make up every human being we interact with makes every experience with a person different, and special. There is more to a person than what he/she can do, there is his/her opinions, beliefs, cultural practices based on his/her upbringing, living environment and experiences.
And with every magical encounter with a person, your privilege to be spending that same moment of your life with his/hers is that medium for you to try to understand, to try to connect.
There are some who take advantage of these encounters or abuse completely, to compromise everything else about the person and take only what they need. The mistake in taking just what you need from people you interact with is that you become completely blinded of everything else he/she has to offer. And is it not completely ridiculous to compromise the long term learning and inspiration that you could’ve gotten from learning about the person’s character and values for example for a short term need you felt you had to meet?