Minds are Like Parachutes
...they only function when open.
We all come to this earth a blank slate. We have our heredity and environment shape who we are and our opinions and beliefs are molded by what surround us. Many of us will never change their opinion about anything, and that is a personal right. Others will try to force their opinions on others and decry the other person's beliefs as "wrong, incorrect, immoral and/or not aligned with correct principles". I am none of that. In fact for me, having ones own opinion is key to their growth and to FIND their beliefs and espouse their values is their God given right. Rousseau said "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it." Amen brother.
So why am I writing this HUB about people opening their minds? Because too many people have not examined anything beyond their childhood belief systems and or educated themselves in compassion, tolerance and understanding. This is why wars are created and will continue to be created until we can see we are all one. Every single one of us is a divine spark of the creator. What EVER creator means to you!
As a teacher I frequently ask others to think outside their normal scope of thinking, and to enlighten themselves as to how walking in another's shoes is a necessary ingredient in understanding another's journey. For as many times as I have either posted a belief or opinion on either political or spiritual topics, I have seen that people are so ingratiated into their own mindsets they cannot see the forest through the trees. People have actually been MAD at me for even stating what I believe about something or how I see things. If I am a mirror to everyone else, then perhaps these people need turn the mirror around and start to question why they need to be so judgmental and where in their own lives they judge themselves.
Self righteousness is evident in many others attempts to dissuade me from voicing my opinions. As we know: silent women rarely make history. I am able to separate my feeling about peoples opinions from the people themselves, but I am rarely afforded the same courtesy. The truth is I accept you for your foibles, dramas and inadequacies. Please do the same for me. I allow you to have your opinions, please return the favor. And if my opinion does not mesh with yours, either ignore my posts, or allow me the courtesy of identifying why you are so ardent in your beliefs about something. Have you examined your thinking? Have you really, really sat down and asked yourself why you are a certain way about something? Have strong beliefs about something that is discriminatory about others? Or are you instead "reacting" to something and not allowing yourself the opporunity to think and grow by examining your motivations?
When you are so angry, ask yourself "what is my motivation"? A spirit of live and let live is the very best way to live. We are all not perfect. And we shall never be. We all need not agree, but we do need to agree to respectfully disagree. We all have a shadow self that loves to come out when we feel passionately about something, or feel we need to fight for what we want. The truth is, we can pick our battles. And we can disconnect a person from their actions and beliefs. We do this all the time when a war ends.
I offer these sort of postings in order to facilitate mutually respectful discussion. No slurs, no condemnations, no reprisals. There is something to be said about looking within and finding the truth behind your feelings. And just because "you have always done it that way" does not mean you cannot change, if it is important to you. People usually shy away from changing because it is painful and requires us to look deeply into our own psyche and find the flaws that we would like to have remain hidden. Proselytizing about religion, or political schisms makes our ego feel stroked, but does nothing for our self worth.
I believe I have as much a right to my beliefs as you have to yours. I expect the same courtesy. After all, if we keep doing things the same way, we get the same results, and as Einstein said "that is the definition of insanity". Choose to open yourself up to new ideas, even if you do not end up changing your beliefs about them. It gives you more credibility and makes you look less angry!
And remember as the bumper sticker so magnificently states:
Minds are Like Parachutes, they only function when open.
Open your mind and love others with all your heart.