Posts Tagged 'Open Mind'

The Balance

Met a truly interesting person that does not use Facebook, never used a dating app, and per their own words “lives in a bubble”. I really enjoyed hearing how their life, sans kids, is unstructured, and they don’t worry about the news or the world or even time. I truly strive to attain that mindset for even one hour a week!!!

As talked more, my conversation partner admitted it can actually be problematic to check out so thoroughly, so often. That they end up not accomplishing necessary life tasks and miss out on connecting with their fellow human beings.

I was left contemplating balance since that discussion, specifically balance in all parts of our lives. I believe one of the most important reasons to stay open to new experiences is that it provides new data. Data that helps us recognize when we have become to stuck in our ways and out of balance. 

When we are out of balance is when we are most likely to shy away from the new and unknown. Yet, that is when we need it the most.

I wonder if it would help if we ask our friends to keep us on our toes? Or schedule random events we can’t cancel? Or is it just good old mindful self-awareness and honesty that makes some open and some closed to the new? 

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Open Mind?

When you ask me to have an open mind, what are you really asking?

Are you asking me to not be an obstructionist? One party has had the slowest rate of approval, and most open positions, for judicial and administrative appointments since the Civil War/Reconstruction Era. Post reconstruction (1881) was the last time a Supreme Court nominee had no action taken by the Senate.

Are you asking me to withhold judgement? Should I not judge a Party that has thousands of comments on record espousing hate and discrimination? 

Or, are you asking me to wait and act until after you have destroyed all I hold dear, and my children are physically or emotionally harmed because they are mixed? 

NEVER ON MY WATCH

I can and will oppose your hate filled, anachronistic and hurful platform. I will however, unlike many, never call into doubt your humanity becuase we disagree. If you really want to discuss open-mindedness moving forward, join me in recognizing those who disagree with you are equally human and American. Then, I am sure we can have a contructive conversation on our differences. 

And Now for Something Completely Different

Over the weekend I was jamming out to a classic Prince song in the car. When it ended the DJ caught my attention by jumping right into a discussion of deflategate. The station was 95.5 here in STL. What he said was a true example of how our experiences and background shape how we perceive reality.

He noted that if Michael Vick or Tony Dingy or any other black coach/quarterback were involved in deflategate, the complaints and calls for punishment would be exponentially louder for the same behavior. Here is what struck me: a Black DJ on a classic Hip-Hop and R&B station was convinced race would play a role in a scandal of this type. Yet many white fans doubt or scoff at this idea.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter if the NFL or fans or the media would make it about race. The fact is one side of the race equation in our country is adamantly convinced race WOULD play apart. On the other side of the equation (the currently larger part of the equation mind you) many don’t believe race would be a factor. They cannot fathom or accept this as a potential truth and are adamantly opposed to the idea that race plays a role in anything.

Here’s the problem, only one side experiences the discrimination. SO even if things are not as bad as they any seem (which I am not saying, they are that bad), the discrimination does exist and is exacerbated by the other side (the majorities) reaction. To not see the discrimination can be forgiven and overcome, as long as the idea that discrimination exists and is possible can enter the discourse. It’s when we don’t allow for any validation of another’s feelings and experiences that we dehumanize them.

Even if we aren’t discriminating ourselves, by invalidating another person we make it impossible for a dialogue to occur. Allowing for a possibility is more conducive to finding common ground when compared with adamant denial or belief.

Asking for Help

How often do we pass on assistance because “we’re fine”? We don’t want to impose on others? We’ve all heard about and experienced these moments when we should’ve asked for help but didn’t. However, what happens when we are asking for help but it’s not helping?

Are we incapable of improving? Are we broken? Inordinately stubborn? Or is it that sometimes we need help from unexpected quarters of life?

We become so consumed in our problems and stress, we don’t see where we genuinely need help. And sometimes we don’t even realize how deep the stress has set in! Recently I thought I understood my issues and how deep they were. It took a situation where I thought I was “solving” one issue, for me to work on the deeper more important problems. I was truly ignorant as to how deep the rabbit hole had become!

While asking for help (specifically being willing to ask and being willing to listen) is vital to our own self-improvement, sometimes being open to help coming from an unexpected source is just as important.


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