There is a moment in a child’s early development when they begin to understand that the content of their mother’s mind or their father’s mind is different from their own. It’s the birth of the terrible twos. 

The reason the two year-old acts out the way he or she does is that he has discovered this utterly fascinating notion, which is that his mom doesn’t see the world the way he does. But I always feel like that is a lesson that we never learn very well.  We always fall back on this notion that the rest of the world is somehow the way that we are. 

Today I had lunch with some guy in the music business.  I know one other person in the music business.  We were talking about a variety of things from his world. It’s so interesting to me to walk away from a lunch like that and say to myself as I think back about what we talked about “I had no idea that...”  Being in the record business is nothing like being in the magazine business or being in the real estate business. 

I think as human beings we need to be reminded that every little micro universe is different. My writing is always premised on that, that the minute you look below the surface things are different than a) what you thought they would be, but b) they’re different from your own experience.  That is why it is fun spending time with people who are the kind of people you want to spend time with, what I call in What the Dog Saw minor geniuses.  

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

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