Take some random section of a street for this example.
One person sees it as the part of the street he passes everyday on the way to work. He has never stopped by to walk along the street, and doesn’t know about the flowers that grow next to the sidewalk there. It might as well not exist to him, except for the fact that he has to drive by it daily.
Another person also drives by that spot on the work, but she has a different thought process when she passes it. She remembers when she was in 8th grade, walking to school with her classmates and talking about a music album she was listening to at the time. She remembers it as a good time where she met a friend she still has to this day. That spot is more than just a spot she drives by each day.
And in another instance, take yet another person who sees the spot in a different way. This person remembers seeing a car accident happen by the spot, and calling 911 to have emergency personnel come handle the situation. This person remembers the spot in a negative way, and it reminds him that life is fragile.
This was just an example with a certain area of sidewalk on a street for three different people.
The same differentiation could be made for a certain restaurant.
To one person, it could be their regular spot to take-out pad thai, while another person might know it as the restaurant where big family events have happened, and another person knows it as the restaurant where they met their current wife. One place = numerous distinct memories spread across large numbers of people.
We each travel through the world a little differently because of how we are, how we think, and what we do. It gives you a benefit to take into account alternate mental paths people have taken, because our collective consciousness is what we like to call “society”.
It is easy to forget that every person we meet has their own network of thoughts, people they know of and associate with, routine activities, hopes, goals, and problems and weaknesses. Discounting these factors helps us deal with the large amount of interconnectivity that is ubiquitous in year 2012 day-to-day interactions, but acknowledging these factors at times can help keep us grounded.
Something you can do is to think of a couple places you pass by regularly, or hang out at sometimes, and think about what different purposes they may serve for others, or what memories they elicit.
On a related note, some places like parks or libraries make a huge difference in the well-being of the people living near them, because they provide something such as an outlet, place to exercise, place to read, place to get away from family members, or another quality to assist people in maintaining composure and efficiency.
On an unrelated note, there are introverts, there are extroverts, and then there are also fake introverts who are actually extroverts. (Credit: D)