The other day as I walked through the Wilk, a flash of blue caught my eye. Could it be? A baby blue chocolate LG Verizon phone just like mine? My heart leapt as my suspicions were confirmed. Clutched in the hand of someone engaged in what was no doubt a very important conversation was the very same phone that I had in my own pocket. I knew exactly how it felt to have that phone pressed to my cheek, exactly how it sounded when the person on the other line's voice whizzed into my ear from across the country. I felt an unexpected thrill as I thought these thoughts.
I found myself marching towards the Verizon customer, reaching for my phone, ready to tap them on the shoulder and say, "Phone twins!" so they could share in my excitement. Luckily I came to my senses before this potentially embarrassing act was performed, changed my course, and continued to my class, still smiling from the (almost) encounter.
But why did I get so excited over such a little thing?
Here's what I've come up with. I think that, deep inside, we all have that longing to establish commonalities with other people. We want to discover things about us that are similar. We relive good memories over and over again with the people who were there with us.
Similarities are conversation prompters. This Halloween, I dressed up as Alice in Wonderland. At one of the parties I went to, I saw someone dressed as the Mad Hatter wandering around the gym. I ran over to him, grabbed his sleeve and said, "Hey! Are you the Mad Hatter?" He said, "Yes! Are you Alice in Wonderland?" I told him I was. Well obviously we were meant to find each other at this party. Recognizing this, we wasted no time. We took pictures together. We chatted for about 10 minutes. We danced and then we went our separate ways. So maybe I didn't meet a lifelong friend, and maybe I won't even recognize him again if we run into each other at the next sale at the BYU Bookstore, but we had a fun time exploring our similarities at the Halloween party, and sometimes, that's all a similarity is good for...a good conversation.
Other times, though, it can have a much bigger effect. People look for friends who have similar interests, hobbies, schedules, and humors. We date people who like the same things as us. We celebrate our various cultures because we like to know that there are other people like us. Studies have shown that couples are less likely to get a divorce if they are about the same level of attractiveness as their spouse. (Also if they have the same fundamental beliefs about religion, how to raise children, etc. I just wanted to specifically mention attractiveness as a factor.)
I think this desire to seek out people who have things in common with us is because we want to know that we all came from the same place. Maybe it sounds like a stretch, but I am going to tie this into evolution. Scientists look at the differences in a species and try to figure out why those differences are there. They backtrack and try to look at the basic similarities in a species. These similarities are what tell us where all the different branches of the same species started out originally. I am sure that we all knew each other before this life. I am sure that we all have divine characteristics. When we try to find things we have in common with each other, we are searching to find and recognize those basic qualities that we share with one another.
That's all :)
PS I had a wonderful Thanksgiving Break and I'm so excited to go home for Christmas!!!