I just got back from Switzerland, where I held my first mindfulness introduction course. Before the course, I thought about what daily experiences to include and how to pursue the session. It felt like a difficult task when I realized that I haven't lived in Switzerland for over a decade and didn't know if and how the people changed since I left.
I believed that having observed my community in Valhalla, their daily exposure was different. Even though I visited multiple times a year and came across a variety of circumstances, I wasn't sure if they have the same struggles, issues, and daily challenges as we do.
After a few conversations, I realized that the main challenge of understanding peoples' situations is because of our experiences. How we grow-up, the people we come across, the social structure we are surrounded by, political and governmental involvement in the community and the country, and financial and emotional support overall.
The main differences I keep referring to is how our mental awareness changes if we know someone (family member, friend, or government) will catch us if we fall, either through losing a job, getting into retirement, educational opportunities, or illnesses. All those aspects change how we perceive life as a whole. Not to say that we still sweat the small stuff, get upset, disappointed, and frustrated if people are not using their heads, according to our knowledge.
However, the way we follow through with our thought process is what makes the difference. For example, if the infrastructure is taking care of and the "basic" needs are covered, we start questioning all the minuscule stuff. If the "basic" need for health care is dependent on what job we are having, we start looking at the bigger picture and ensure that we are protected. Comparing Switzerland and the USA, if you have a governmental system that is more or less stable and provides the civilians with the vital, essential, needed support of infrastructure, health care, and educational system, we might not necessarily push much against it. However, we will still complain and have ideas on how to do things better.
Although we are talking about significantly different issues and basic needs, we start to notice that our mental structure will always do the same thing. We will find ways to stay busy by taking action or give our two cents. We as humans have a physical, mental, and psychological foundation that changes through growing-up, experiences, and surroundings throughout our lives what makes us different. Deep down inside, we all share the same fear, need, love, appreciation, and care to belong. So no matter how different we are from the outside, if we are willing to open up, share how we feel, listen to each others' stories, and try to understand them; sooner than later, we will find out that we are all the same.