No two people have the exact same experience. Even though two people may witness the exact same event at the exact same time, there could be two totally different interpretations of the event. Past experiences shape a person’s understanding of current events. These same past experiences, as well as factors that an individual has absolutely no control over compile into various realities in the same space.
I recently had a conversation with a woman that progressed into her understanding of relativism as it pertains to religious practices, faith journeys, and the role of religious beliefs in moral and ethical situations. She and I didn’t necessarily agree on many aspects of the conversation, which at the time infuriated me; after a few days of reflection, I realized the reason she and I could not see eye-to-eye was because our worlds that we live in are conflicting. My perspective is that she has been fairly sheltered to some of the things in the world; yet, the same argument could be made about me depending on with whom I am conversing.
I like to think I’m a realist. I have a decent grasp of a lot of the social injustices I witness regularly, and I am enraged by how saturated our society is with systems that perpetuate those injustices. I know that my US American experiences (and my relationships with the systems that perpetuate injustices) are not the norm in US America.
Multiple realities exist. It is only with the acknowledgement that contending realities are valid, can there be progress.