OPEN YOUR MIND
Why do we focus on what makes us different instead of seeing how similar we are?
One of the best ways to expand our view of the world is through traveling -whether it’s a three hour drive or a ten hour plane ride. Anytime we take ourselves out of our comfort zone we open ourselves up to a learning experience. It’s important to take trips so that we can learn about and better understand other ways of life.
Everyone deserves a relaxing vacation, but there’s a difference when we truly travel. When we allow ourselves to be fully immersed in a cultural experience, instead of resorting to what’s familiar. Unfortunately, not all of us have the means to travel and are limited on time and money. Yet we still have the opportunity to experience other cultures.
The world is connecting through the internet and people are finding new places around the globe to call home. So when we do interact with people from differing backgrounds, it’s imperative that we do so with an open-mind. We won’t know what we’re missing out on if we never push ourselves to experience and learn about other lifestyles.
By keeping an open-mind when we meet others -from our own and other countries- it allows for a learning experience that will challenge our beliefs. This then helps us, and those we interact with, grow. If we have a closed mind when we meet someone new, we aren’t allowing their reality or truth to be heard.
As humans we’re susceptible to judging each other. But when we judge cultures and countries there’s a tendency to place our culture above theirs. Since all we know is our way of life, we compare our everyday life to theirs and can only see the discrepancy in what we both consider “normal”. Yet normal is a relative term, so nothing can truly be defined as normal. Everyone has opportunities and experiences in life that differ from our own, but that doesn’t make what we -or they- do any less meaningful or important. If anything, it opens our eyes to all that there is to experience in life.
When we compare other lifestyles to our own we assume that our way is the right way, which doesn’t allow for co-existence. If we don’t take the time to try to understand and learn about others, we’ll never have an appreciation for or insight on what makes them -and us- unique. Because at the end of the day we all want the same thing -to be happy.
No matter our differences, we are all human and our similarities outweigh the differences. Sure we eat different foods, live in different homes, speak different languages, and have differing beliefs. But we all have families that we love, traditions that we keep, friends that we make, and goals for ourselves. How will we know how similar we are if we never ask? It’s time to celebrate our similarities instead of fixating on our differences. If we can learn to break the barriers that have been built between our cultures, then we can come to a place of mutual understanding and appreciation for one another.
Practices & Motivations