I remember once I was riding the subway in Toronto, there was a lot of commotion at my stop which I soon found out was focused around an elderly man who had slipped down the stairs and was bleeding quite profusely. It was scary, but he was surrounded by people who were already dealing with the situation and calling emergency services so I figured all I could do to do my part was get out of the way.
It was very rattling, No one had any idea what state the man was in and everyone was buzzing about it. But as I got further away I became increasingly conscious of this sort of bubble of awareness I was in. People right at the stairs were all scared and trying to help, people further down the hall had this sense that something was wrong but didn’t know what it was yet, and when you went through the doors to the street everyone was completely unaware of the situation.
My irrational knee-jerk reaction was initially to be angry with all these people milling around, and goofing off, like “What is wrong with you don’t you know there is an old man dying like thirty feet away from you? How can you be so insensitive???" but as soon as I thought that I realized that of course they have no idea, they didn’t have to deal with the situation, of course they’d be completely ignorant about what was happening unless someone went out of their way to inform them about it. I went through a door to a place where something that totally consumed my head was happening, it was all I could think about and it wasn’t until I sorted myself out and rationalized it that I remembered other people who had not gone through that door were not privy to this information. Right then at that moment the old man was the most important thing in my head and it made me forget (if only for a beat) that other people have not experienced the things that are very important in my life and I cannot expect them to act as though they’re informed about things that I am informed about.
This experience reminded me that you can’t automatically assume malice when someone says something ignorant that upsets you. Not everyone has gone through all the doors that you have. Other people are completely unaware of things that could be defining aspects of your life, it might not even occur to them there was an issue requiring further education of until they crossed paths with you. On that same note, don’t be that guy who just assumes they’ve gone through every door. You didn’t personally see the injured old man, don’t doubt his existence and stubbornly stand in the way when people need you to step aside so they can get help to him. Everyone is holding a map and no one has every room filled in, you need to cooperate with other people to figure out what exists in the areas outside your personal zone of familiarity.