Friday, October 24, 2014

It's All In Your Head

Being Open-Minded

[oh-puh n-mahyn-did]  

1. having or showing a mind receptive to new ideas or arguments.
2. unprejudiced; unbigoted; impartial.

  Oh, how I love this concept.
If nothing else, just simply being open-minded will make your life better.  Not to mention the fact that it will also make everyone IN your life enjoy you more as well.

It really isn't a hard thing to do.  No one is making you change your opinions about anything.  Rather, you are just choosing to be open to the fact that there are other opinions out there, and it is isn't a bad thing to listen to what they are, and educate yourself.

I think we grow up hearing the opinions of our parents and other role models, and it sways our perspective.  
Sometimes, the pendulum can swing the opposite way, and we may be inclined to choose  exactly the opposite of what we were raised to believe.  
You see that so often when it comes to religion and politics.

I think one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and our children is the gift of curiosity.  When we allow ourselves to ponder and observe, to be receptive and gracious, understanding and impartial...we are able to see things from many angles.  We don't need to form opinions, and seal them in cement until the end of time.
That is the beauty of life.  Things keep moving forward...and so should we.

Another reason having an open mind is so important is that is allows us to see both sides of the story.  It helps us to remember that things are never exactly as they seem.

If we close ourselves off to the possibility of other options, other opinions, other ideas, we are closing ourselves off to the world.  How can we possibly have any idea what is right or what is wrong if we don't have all of the options?  

I really see how ridiculous people can be when election time comes around.  I was reading all of the comments on a Facebook post the other day, discussing the Governor's race in Wisconsin.  Obviously, the comments showed very strong opinions for both sides.  The part that bothered me the most was how some people would group democrats or republicans into one "group," and make snide comments about them.  "All of those stupid, liberal, money sucking, cry baby democrats..." etc.  (You get the picture.)  
All I could think was "Really? You are using those words to describe every democrat?"
It is that kind of close mindedness that makes me crazy.
I couldn't understand why these people couldn't simply state the reasons why they supported whichever candidate, and leave it at that.  Why was there such a need to add insults toward the opposing "team?"  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  You can have yours, but you have no right to attack me for having mine.

I think the worst is when I see close minded, and obviously learned behaviors occurring in little kids.  We are all born with no prejudice, no hate, no negative view toward others.  It is our environment that teaches us these things.  If only we could protect kids from it.  It seems like their sweet, untainted innocence gets lost earlier and earlier.

I think it is our job to try and reach out....stress the importance of opening our minds to everything that the world has to offer.  
If we challenge each other to take a leap of faith and consider other points of view, we are opening new doors we may have never walked through otherwise.
If we push any prejudice aside that we learned from an early age....if we question what we don't understand in our church, or dig deeper into what the people running our cities, states and countries are saying and doing, we are opening our eyes, and becoming informed.

Can you think of anything in your life that you have not given a chance to?  Is there something that you only know one side of the story, and have made a judgement about, without hearing the whole truth?

Have any of your limiting beliefs rubbed off on your kids?   Do you see them closing their minds to the same issues you do?

Are there any ways you can reach out to other people in your life, simply by opening your mind, and allowing yourself to be open to new ideas and opinions?

If someone was to spread a nasty rumor about you....would you hope that the people in your community would be quick to judge, or that they would keep an open mind and make no assumptions without having all the information?

Does putting yourself in the center of an unpleasant situation like the one above make you think about how you could handle similar situations differently, when it involves other people?

Just remember....we ALL have something special to share.  If we are willing to open our minds, our ears, and our hearts.....we can start to make some big and wonderful changes in this world.

Happy Friday everyone!

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