I was never one that wanted stuff. As a boy I never asked for anything because I realized from an early age that although we were by no means poor, my mother was a single mum with three boys, and I knew money was not free flowing.
My two brothers, both older, on the other hand were the opposite. They always wanted stuff and never had enough of anything. My brother just before me is one to always lament on his deprived childhood and it amazes me how two people living through the same exact experiences can remember them so differently.
One Christmas before I was ten, my mother gave my elder brother a personal transistor radio. That was a huge thing back in the early seventies. Getting one of those was like getting the newest iPhone today. I remember thinking how amazingly lucky he was because those were new and expensive at the time.
That year, we three brothers did not give each other any gifts because I think we decided not to as we each didn’t have enough to spend.
Sometime ago my sister in law was talking about how my brother really does not like Christmas because he always remembers that Christmas when he didn’t get any gifts and she felt so sorry for him.
I was flabbergasted. “That never happened!” I told her and asked my brother what she was talking about. He went on to tell me about the Christmas when we were boys and he never got a gift and went on to describe the day.
I told him he was crazy. That Christmas HE got the best gift of the three if us. A transistor radio! He could not remember that at all. I still to this day remember exactly what it looked like because I would always play with it when he was out.
It is so easy to see the same thing and interpret it totally differently. I know for a fact that the brain can take two totally different events and blend them together and create a whole new truth. I had a memory of somewhere from my childhood and when I saw the place last year, what I remembered as two buildings side by side, were actually two buildings opposite each other, on opposite sides of the street!
When someone sees something that I also saw, but their explanation is totally different than mine, I don’t immediately deny them their truth, because it is their truth. Unless of course they are just chronic liars. I try to ask them to explain again what they saw and try to see it from their perspective. And if I still don’t see it their way, then I just stick with my original interpretation, but try not to place judgement on the other person. I just think of it as their truth and try to move on.