No one has the exact experiences or traits as any other one person. The closest any person can come to having the same set of traits and experiences as anyone else is in the case of identical twins. Nature and nurture considered, circumstances and situations, personality types and mental capacities, every little nuance in each individual’s life means that it is pretty near impossible for anyone to be able to fully understand where someone else is coming from when they live, react, make choices, and journey through life’s ups and downs.
All that being said, no individual can pass judgement on someone else by comparing their circumstances and actions to one’s own. We can have a level of empathy from going through very similar situations at times, and some people have an empathic ability that can truly feel what someone else is feeling and sit with them in that feeling, even if that empath hasn’t truly experienced the other’s same set of troubles or sorrows. But, beyond that empathy, we don’t , in this life, truly know the other person’s nuances of experiences, character traits, family situations, reasons for choices, and so on.
Therefore, how can anyone assume to grasp what another is feeling and suffering and then purport to exclaim that the one who is struggling shouldn’t need to do so if they would just choose to live life the way that the other person, the one who is judging, has lived? How can any person make a blanket statement that generalizes the circumstances of another, or a group of others, casting judgements, stating opinions, and saying that those others need to be doing life differently, better, handling the blows of life more like the one who is making the generalizations?
Until we reach eternity and know as we are known, we would be wise to sit and listen to others, to consider their stories and the nuances of their lives, finding connections, yes, but reveling in the differences, learning from the varieties of perspectives of every person whom we meet. Welcoming each other in and all of our stories to be told is the essence of intellectual hospitality, and really, just plan ole hospitality. God ultimately made us for union with God and with one another, but the fullness of that reality will not be met until the other side of our current life as we know it. From this moment forward until we are beyond death and dwelling in the forever after, each of us as individuals can only reach towards unity if we are willing to forego our preconceived notions of how others “should” act and react, and then open ourselves to learning all we can of each other’s differences, the depths of the beauty and mystery found in each person’s unique minority.