Invisible walls

Everybody has invisible walls. It can take a while for us to see the walls that surround each other (if we ever do) because, well, the walls are invisible.

These walls are constructed out of whatever we were taught as little kids: Limits on what we can achieve, on the places that we allow ourselves to roam in our minds, on how well we can understand people who are different from ourselves.

One person might have invisible walls that make them think they are never supposed to be rich, while another person has walls that make them think they are never supposed to graduate from college. A third person might have walls telling them that it’s ok to love somebody, but only if that somebody doesn’t love them back.

I’m not saying that these walls are unbreakable. They are just very hard to break, for two reasons: (1) We can’t see them, so we might not even know they are there, and (2) When we try to break them, we feel an enormous stress, as though we are fighting with ourselves. Which, in a sense, we are.

It can take years of effort to break through our own invisible walls. Sometimes it can take us years even to learn that they are there. And sometimes we never even get that far.

It is easy to judge people by the invisible walls that began to hem them in from an early age. But I think a more accurate (if more difficult) way to judge someone is this:

First, try to understand what their invisible walls are, where those walls are located, and how high they are. Then, see how successfully that person manages to tear down those walls.

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