The Mind of Jason

Knowing Someone vs Knowing ‘Things’ About Them

by on May.04, 2009, under Thoughts


Is there any difference between knowing someone and knowing ‘things’ about the person? What is the difference if there is one? Which is more important?

There is indeed a difference between the two. Many people overlook this very important difference. You can know a great deal of things about a person, their favorite color, their favorite food, their likes and dislikes, etc and still never know the person. It is important of course, to know these things about a person, at least a person that is close to you and important to you, but knowing the person themselves is much more important. To know things about a person is just that to know things about a person.

To know the person though, is to know their heart, their soul, their very essence. A person is so much more than just the sum of the things ‘about them.’ It is often said that the eyes are the window to the soul; I can tell you that this is true. I have at times looked into persons eyes and instantly known them. The very nature of who they are is clear.

Now, does this mean that every time you look into someone’s eyes you will know them? NO. More often than not, our vision becomes clouded, clouded by our own failures, shortcomings, our fears, our hatreds, etc. These things can make us see a person for who we want them to be. The times though when we truly know the person when we look into their eyes, we know it right away. Time stand still and everything of that persons’ essence comes racing forward, often times overwhelming us.

In my day-to-day life I have known this only once, when I looked into my friend Liz’s eyes. I saw everything of which she is, and knew her totally her entire being, laid bare and exposed to me. I came to know things I have never experienced with her. There is no doubt in my heart and soul that what I saw is true. I always called her ‘Lizzie Liz”, then one day when she was getting ready to leave our project, and we were welcoming her replacement on board our team, he asked her what people called her. She told him that people who do not know her call her Elizabeth, people that know her well call her Liz, and people that know her really well call her “Lizzie Liz.” She was looking at me and smiling when she said that. Therefore, yes I know her well. I know her from the times I looked into her eyes. I even told her that on a few occasions. There were times she tried to hide her hurt about one thing or another, and no one ever seemed to pick up on it except me. Those times when I looked in her eyes, I could see the pain and torment deep inside her heart and soul, even if on the outside she seemed perfectly okay.

When you know a persons’ heart and soul, you know the person they are. You see the light or darkness that dwells deep inside them. You know how much faith and belief you can put in them.

Now things about a person are generally superficial. They tell you what a person looks like on the outside, and what things they like, but give you little indication of who the person truly is. For me, knowing the inner person is much more important than anything else is. That is why when someone I know tells me I don’t know things about them I often chuckle and say you are right I don’t know a lot of things about you, but I do know you and that is what is more important to me.

Do not get me wrong, knowing things about a person are important too. They help us bring joy into their life, make them happier, and just generally help us interact with them; however, if we do not know the person as well, we will never be able to interact with that person sufficiently.

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