In the past few weeks I have changed in some rather significant ways. I’d like to believe that this change is permanent and for the better, but that remains to be seen. In the meantime, here are how and why those changes took place:
- I have been reading a number of books that challenge me to approach things in a different way. Not radically different, because a radical change is likely to cause defensiveness and not get through, but starting from enough common ground that new ideas can be presented without it feeling like an attack.
- I have approached who I follow on Twitter a bit differently. When someone likes one of my tweets and I do not know that person, I look at their profile and determine with a glance if I feel it’s well written. If it is, I follow them for “a trial period.” During the following days I decide if what they put into my feed is worth keeping. If it is, they stay, and if not, a simple unfollow is quick and easy. But note what I am saying here by “worth keeping” (see next point).
- I have allowed a multitude of ideas and perspectives to come before me, both online and off, through social media and books. I take them for what they are, and try to write off nothing. While I disagree with plenty, I allow myself to consider each before making that decision.
These actions have caused me to open my views up quite a lot compared to my general way of thinking even a month ago. It has allowed me to absorb more information, and though my core values remain solid, it opened me up to better understand the world around me.
I present this for two reasons. First, to allow some understanding to any readers who might notice the change going forward. I don’t expect some huge shift from where things have been, but I find it’s helpful to know where people are coming from. This is an opportunity to let you in to know something deeper about myself so you know what is guiding my current train of thought (which inevitably ends up here for you to read).
Second, I wonder if perhaps it can be of use to you as well. How often do you follow people online who think differently than you do? Not for the purpose of correcting them or judging them, but to see other perspectives? What was the last book you read that dramatically changed (or at least challenged) the way you approach a large and powerful topic?
Having gone through this mini-journey in the bigger overall picture, I highly recommend giving the options above a shot. It can be difficult, but being open to such things has the potential to expand your mind in ways you simply can’t achieve if you stick with only what you know.