I have honestly tried blogging before, but I never realized the importance of blogging with a purpose! To me, it was like a game, a public journal entry of sorts. I mean, I’m 22 years old! I really don’t have many hobbies (at least not very seriously) and for the most part my life is pretty mellow. Not to say that it hasn’t been before, I’ve gone through nearly every situation under the sun and I have a lot of opinions on life.
Now, I don’t want you to get the idea that I’m over-opinionated, because I’m really not. If you knew me, I’m truly one of the MOST accepting people in the world. I live by the motto ‘Everybody is Different’. And that’s the truth! We all think differently and while two people might share some opinions, in reality they will never share all the same opinions. This is one reason I tend to avoid political and religious discussions. Not to say that I don’t enjoy them, it’s always terrific to get new viewpoints on a topic. But if an individual does not choose to believe or support what I think, then that’s ok. They aren’t me! Now, I will get a little annoyed if somebody is trying to convince me to do something that I plainly do not agree with. I respect what other people believe, and I do not appreciate it when people do not respect my choices. They aren’t me! (Yes, I know I sound a little redundant, but I’m trying to make a point here!)
One of my favorite classes I’ve taken in my college career was a philosophy class called ‘Critical Thinking’. Before taking the course, I still held similar beliefs to being open-minded. However, my professor often had to correct my posts because I’d present a close-minded opinion. Usually it was not something I was pressing to my other classmates, but I would make assumptions very easily. We all make assumptions that aren’t true, but my professor was amazing at informing me about the importance of trying not to. One discussion question in the class requested us to go out into public and observe other people. The assignment was to challenge first impressions. We would pick an individual, recognize the first impression that came along with the observations we made, and then create a background story for the individual that was different to the impression originally made. It was really clever! Obviously, we didn’t know the individual’s background, but it was a great way to challenge the impressions. Just because somebody looks or acts a certain way doesn’t mean they ARE that way. We are different, and we have different reasons for looking or behaving in any way. I still go out into public, and I still have first impressions. But now, I try not to let myself stick to them. By using this exercise, it really helps me focus on the people underneath appearances and behaviors when I meet them.
I also try to be very open to trying new things. I certainly am not perfect at this either, and I have a lot of reservations (I used to be an extremely picky child!). I don’t like everything I try either. I just took a knitting class recently, and it just isn’t for me. I certainly hope other people give it a try though, just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean you won’t. (Uh oh, here it comes again…) You aren’t me!
And just because I am open to listening to different opinions, viewpoints, and activities doesn’t mean I accept everything that comes my way. For example: I am pro-life, I’m unsure where I stand with homosexuality, I believe parents should teach their children concepts from the bible and not depend on church and Sunday School to do so, I don’t agree with K-12 class sizes greater than 25 students. If people ask why, I will be happy to share with them my thoughts. What I believe sets me apart is that I understand why people choose to be pro-choice, I don’t condemn homosexuality even if I don’t agree with it, at least children going to Sunday School and church is certainly better than nothing, and there are wonderful teachers who can educate a large class effectively (among other things…). I really try hard to step in another person’s shoes and see things from their standpoint. They aren’t me, and I’m not them. It’s fair to try and understand why other individuals think differently. This next one I’m trying to be better with, but I shouldn’t mind if an individual calmly discusses with me why I should believe something in a different manner. I want my thoughts to change, grow, and evolve, and by being close-minded I can’t really do that well, can I?
I know perfectly well that people aren’t going to agree with my viewpoint. But you know, that’s ok, and I respect that. But, I’m happy that I am the way I am (clarify- at least with my open-mindedness). I truly feel most at peace this way and, in my opinion, that’s the way I should feel.
9 months ago