Closet of characters

I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes I forget that I live on board of a sailing ship with fifty other people at the moment. I forget that I didn´t know those guys half a year ago and that in the beginning they were strangers to me. And then in some moments it all comes to me at once. One of such moments was our last “Besanschotan“, when the whole crew came together and I saw all those different, unique and by now familiar faces. And I began to remember…

I remember the time all those faces, that hide certain characters, had met the very first time and no one knew anyone. We tried to associate facial expressions with emotions, tried to guess thoughts or estimate personality traits. Without an active decision we built up constructs, constructs of how we thought those strange people were. Even more: we pigeon-holed them, put them in drawers of stereotypes, we thought it would suit. In this way we tried to understand their unfamiliar characters – and yes, we thought we were able to look through each other. Oh boy were we wrong! All we did was putting known characters on unknown humans, just to make the world less complicated and easier to understand for us. By now we learned a lot, for example how complex a human being is and how many types of persons in this world exist. No one is there twice, everyone is unique and not a copy, so it´s completely impossible to compare yourself to the persons around you. In my opinion it´s kind of unbelievable how much diversity in this big, big world exists. Therefore, I think about how it is possible to have so many, so different humans.

To the time I wrote my application one of the big questions I asked myself was how will it be to live with 50 other people around you all the time, people who are partly nothing like you? Admittedly, I was really scared of the situation when complete opposites would meet each other, today I don´t really understand why: It´s wonderful to be part of such an amazing, varied community, where we can complete and help each other. We experienced a lot of difficult situations together that showed us many different sides of ourselves and the others and by now we really know everyone very well. Because of that we are aware of the strengths and weaknesses and we know that we can functionate as one big team. On the other hand, it´s weird although we all are already part of one big team, there are many times where I get surprised by new personality traits of people I thought I would know. On top of that it´s just very confusing to see the way humans react totally different in the same situation, have varied views on stuff, but always try to communicate between those different minds. Otherwise a community would not be able to functionate, the most important thing in social things is trying to understand the other persons opinion and understand that they have different priorities. When you look really close you can see how fascinating it is to realise that we are all different species, with own interests and qualities.

If I weren´t part of this journey, I would not be able to meet all those wonderful people. Probably I would go on with putting humans I don´t know into drawers of stereotypes I already know, instead of really get to know them. Furthermore, I wouldn´t have realised that the faces of our world don´t portray just one closet with some drawers, but make an immense amount of diversity and drawers.