The other day I overheard a conversation on a bus. Two women were talking to each other.
The one lady told the other that she feels she outgrew her friends. That she has experienced so many new things over the past few months. That she changed so much. That her life changed so much.
And her friends stayed pretty much the same. And do the same things day in day out.
How can you outgrow someone? What does it even feel like? Will your life be worth more than the one your friends are living? That other people are living? Will you feel more valuable?
I don't know. I don't get it. It sounds wrong. I didn't even know that word existed. Outgrow.. What a strange word..
So here's the thing. I think there are two types of growth. The one where you think you grew as a person but you didn't. As a matter of fact you didn't grow at all. As a matter of fact the only thing that grew is your ignorance.
Just like when you say that you outgrew someone. Again, how can you outgrow someone?
You think you grew as a person, that you outgrew your friends, but in reality by saying this or even thinking it you just grew in ignorance.
You've grown in ignorance because you feel that what you do, did or experienced is worth more than the stuff other people do, did or experienced. The stuff your friends back home do or did.
And in my book that's called ignorance. And not growth.
I know by saying and writing all of this I grow in ignorance myself. Because I judge, just like the lady on the bus did.
And then there's a second type of growth. The type of growth where you really grow as a person. The type of growth where you realize that every experience, everything you do or did isn't worth more than any of the stuff other people do or did. No matter what it is.
The type of growth where you start realizing that you can't possibly outgrow anyone. Ever. We're all the same.
The type of growth where you realize that no matter where you're from, no matter what you did before, no matter how much money you have, no matter how many countries you've traveled to, no matter how many languages you speak, you can't outgrow anyone. Ever.
We're all the same. And everything we do, we do it to grow as a person. Someone might grow remarkably as a person by starting a family. By raising kids. By buying a house. By working the same job for fifty years.
And then, someone else might grow as a person by traveling a lot. By experiencing a lot. By speaking ten languages. I don't know. It doesn't really matter.
What matters is to start realizing that we all grow. Just in different ways.
And when you see your way of growing as a person as more valuable than the ways other people do, when you believe that you outgrew someone, all you've grown is in fact your ignorance.
Because you're ignoring the way other people grow. You're ignoring how other people decide to live their lives. You can't possibly outgrow anyone. Ever.
It's all about keeping your eyes and ears open for other people's growth. And appreciating it. And acknowledging it. And not being ignorant any longer.
And to me that's real growth.
To me that's real personal growth..