“Caring about stuff binds us to the other people who care about that stuff and that creates the communities that make life worth living.” - John Green
In other words, fandom is awesome because you get to geek out over stuff with people.
"Everything has been figured out, except how to live." - Jean-Paul Sartre
Now on that I would have to disagree. There's a fair amount of science-y stuff we don't know, and the phenomenon of love (of any and all kinds) is way too complicated and multi-faceted and such to have been really figured out as a whole, which brings me to today's topic: taking people's word for things.
When it comes to books or movies or tv shows or music, it's pretty safe to take people's word. If you and Person X like a lot of the same things, and Person X likes Thing A, chances are you'll like it too. Obvious and boring. Moving on.
What's less easy to trust people on is the future. Here's a quote from Hank Green that I've been thinking about rather a lot lately: "Do not trust anyone who is telling you the way the world is going to be for you."
Because there have been a lot of things that have happened this year that don't match up with any of the stereotypes, or assumptions, or stories, or predictions with which I have been presented. Humanity as a whole is far too diverse (and complicated, and multi-faceted, to quote myself from above) for everything to be the same for everyone.
We can only tell others the way things were/are for us. We can only say "this is a possibility, and this how it played out." Which, don't get me wrong, is a useful thing to be told. It gives us something on which to base ourselves and our interactions, as well as helping us to keep realistic expectations. But people are people, and people are different. The trick, I think, is to find the balance between treating everyone the same, and treating everyone as an entirely different type of life form. Neither extreme is a good idea, obviously, but where in the middle is it best to go? You have to assume some things, but if you assume too many, things don't always turn out as well as they might have otherwise (and no, I don't have anything particular in mind when I say that, so you don't have to try and read in-between the lines).
But Hank isn't saying to never trust anyone who tells you anything about the world. He's saying that life is full of surprises: "I majored in biochemistry, and now I'm a professional Internet moron."
So like all good Ravenclaws, we need to "cum grano salis," which is rough Latin for "take it with a grain of salt." (And no, I don't actually know that much Latin. I just googled the phrase to make sure it meant what I thought it meant, and the Wikipedia article happened to have the Latin for it, so I thought I'd sound all sophisticated and such.)
Comment Question: What Hogwarts house are you? It occurs to me this is something Harry Potter fans should exchange, particularly about those of you I know IRL.