Egocentric Predicament was coined by Philosopher Ralph Barton Perry in the Journal of Philosophy, Psychology, and Scientific Methods. According to Oxfordreference.com, “The predicament is the fact that we are each limited or confined to our own perceptual world. This may seem either highly significant and tragic, or tautologous.”
I am not a student of philosphy; however, I am fasinated by this theory. Oddly, my first realization of limited or differing perception was after my first teenage breakup. Before then, it had never crossed my mind that people viewed the world differently than I did. I clearly remember thinking to myself, “Why does he want to break up?” “We are so in love with each other.” I was unable to recognize the difference in our perception of the relationship. I was convinced he was just confused, and he would soon realize his mistake. Teenage love — so dramatic and tortuous. When he didn’t come back confessing his undying love for me, I was forced into the realization of differing realities. For the first time in my life, I felt lonely. I felt a disconnect from everyone and everything; I felt lost.
As a grown woman, I have matured and now see our separation as independance. We each are given a unique world; one that no one else will ever know. We can share our experiences with each other, but how we interpret each other’s experiences will be based on our own viewpoint. Everyones story is different and special in its own way. With maturity comes tolerance, respect, and acceptance. However, independance can, at times, still make me feel alone; to feel different can be isolating.
I suppose this is just one of life’s many complexities. To celebrate individuality, yet desire to belong and be understood.
“In the end we are all separate: our stories, no matter how similar, come to a fork and diverge. We are drawn to each other because of our similarities, but it is our differences we must learn to respect.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe