One of the most interesting aspects of my life has been my constant struggle to understand how people interact in social situations. While I believe I have an above average intelligence when it comes to theoretical things and ideas, I tend to be downright terrible at handling interactions with people. I am sometimes literally dumbfounded when people ask me the simplest of questions, for multiple reasons I’m sure. I try to be fairly open about this because it usually helps me to be more confident and to speak up a bit more. It’s curious, because I actually enjoy public speaking. It gives me a thrill and a jolt of energy that I don’t normally experience. It’s an odd combination.
The point of this post is that I spend a lot of my introspecting time (i.e. most of my life) thinking about philosophical ideas that happen to be sparked by whatever situations I might find myself in. Even the simplest of things often sends me down a trail to finding some sort of greater meaning. I don’t mean this as something that is good. In fact, it tends to keep me utterly distracted from the task at hand, to the point where I sometimes don’t pay attention to things that are directly in front of my face. Even when I’m on the job, I will occasionally completely stop what I am doing because I lost grasp on reality for a moment. While it’s an interesting quality that I have, I by no means consider it to be an inherently good thing. Especially for the world we live in, it’s extremely impractical.
This brings me to the point that so often bothers me. One of the main reasons, I believe, that I have trouble with talking about things that are practically relevant. I am struggling to state this in a way that isn’t arrogant sounding, because my interests are by no means more valid than the next person’s. (In fact, my interests are often much less practical than others’.) However, there are only a few topics that I am actually going to always be interested in talking about. I can sometimes relate to something cultural or personally relevant. There hasn’t been a time yet where I turned down a conversation on politics, philosophy, or religion, simply because they fascinate me so much. It’s the same thing, I think, with people who are enthralled by sports, literature, or nature. Actually, I enjoy the latter group very much myself, but my interest in them dulls over time.
I would like to know how people gain certain interests. As far as I can tell, there isn’t much psychological research on the topic, but I do hope to find more as I look for answers. Perhaps my interest in psychology actually transcends my interest in politics, religion, and philosophy, because it explains them by definition – they are all things that exist in our minds.
All things considered, the mysteries of human existence are really positively fascinating. I am often glad that we won’t have all the answers (or, at least I’ll never know them all), because otherwise there would be nothing left to search for and discover. It’s the limitlessness of the universe that makes our wonder possible, and for that I am grateful.