When we look at the world, it’s through our own tinted glasses. Our tint remains a shade different than our neighbors and friends no matter if we’re agreeable on practically every subject or disparate to the ninth degree. On the other hand, objectivity is a philosophical concept that has been related to the truth outside of a subject’s individual biases. However, in order to obtain an objective mindset, a sentient being must forsake the shaping his or her life has provided. For this reason, I believe we all have a responsibility to make important decisions with fine-tuned tact.
We must understand that everything we see is directly tied back to our singularity, but listening to our own unique experiences should not be the indicator when dealing with matters greater than ourselves.
Perhaps the greatness display of subjectivity and its role in the human condition is the account of two identical twins, Jack Yufe and Oskar Stohr. The twins were separated at birth in the early twentieth century. Growing up, they exchanged letters and photographs and wondered at their similarities and differences. Both preferred their toast without crust, and had a habit of walking backwards into the ocean. Yufe preferred autumn, Stohr spring. Although they shared details of their life throughout their childhood and adolescence- the twins didn’t meet in person until age twenty-one, in a German train station.
Face to face for the very first time, Yufe and Stohr shockingly did not embrace; instead, each carefully looked at the other as if inspecting an alien specimen. Culturally, they could not have been any further apart on the spectrum: a detail that seemingly was never discussed throughout their written correspondence. Stohr removed Yufe’s Israeli luggage tags and immediately told his long-lost brother to tell those he meet in Germany that he was coming from America.
From this first uneasy exchange in 1954, came a most unusual relationship. Yufe grew up in Trinidad as a Jew and served as an officer in the Israeli Navy. Stohr grew up Catholic in Nazi Germany and was an enthusiastic member of the Hitler Youth. The twins’ unique relationship was a source of great intrigue for the researchers behind the landmark Minnesota twin study conducted in the late 1980s. The study aimed to determine how environmental and genetic factors contributed to psychological traits. What made Stohr and Yufe an extraordinary case was not only the stark contrasts between the cultures in which they grew up — Judaism versus Nazism — but also the striking similarities in their emotional temperaments and quirky habits. Although the twins’ were just about as biologically similar as two humans can get- their subjective views of the world were so completely different, it took years for the two to kindle the brotherly affection they had always yearned for.
The twins prove that not even practically identical DNA can mold two minds into viewing the world in the same hues. In this day in age, we are quick to judge and tend to lapse over contemplating a person’s background and roots. We all come from a kaleidoscope of different life paths, and no matter what- our views will never be a carbon copy of our neighbor’s. This calls for a little more effort in understanding those who seem different, and a lot more patience in trying to make sense of the vast mosaic of different souls we encounter. When we choose to move past our initial inclination to think subjectively, we can land upon a more truthful viewpoint that encompasses all the needs of those involved.