The journey in search of meaningful truths that affect and guide your personal life can be arduous and challenging. For sake of discussion I would like to present three types of mindsets. Each is represented by a certain type of person; one may be you!
SIMPLISTIC SAM/SAMANTHA: This person has bought into a particular world view in his/her youth and has never modified it. S/he knows what is “right” and refuses to be open-minded. S/he had an early case of “hardening of the categories.” Don’t confuse this person with the facts! S/he wants everyone to believe what s/he believes. This person can be very irritating and invasive.
RIGID ROGER/REGINA: This person over-reacted to early life teachings by parents-teachers-preachers and has become very closed minded and is threatened by alternative ideas. S/he is just as close-minded. S/he doesn’t like what was taught early on and has “thrown out the baby with the bath.” S/he is often bitter, antagonistic, and feels threatened by different viewpoints. S/he is quite defensive, and often “shoots the messenger.” This person often leads a self destructive life style.
EVOLVING EARL/ URLINA. This person continually examines beliefs, theories, and scientific findings. S/he is able to modify, change, or enrich previous ideas. This person looks at new discoveries and viewpoints to see if they can be additive. S/he is open-minded, without necessarily grabbing on to the latest fad of the times. This person welcomes debate, but doesn’t need to “win.” The sharing is a valuable exchange.
In which category do you think you fall? Have you changed or modified central tenets or beliefs of your earlier, perhaps naïve, life? What about other people in your life, in which category are they?
There is a need in our society for opportunities to discuss important ideas in a civilized, respectful and challenging manner. Religious, political, educational, moral beliefs and practices should continually be able to be discussed and evaluated as new knowledge and findings become available.
Personally, I am amazed at what I have learned and how I have changed since my parochial upbringing in Green Bay. An undergraduate Liberal Arts degree, seminary theological studies, doctoral psychology training, travel, and significant personal experiences have opened up rewarding vistas of knowledge as I seek my personal truths.
Where are you on your journey? Or have you not yet begun to walk down that path, staying “safe” in your Simple or Rigid world? (If you feel threatened or irritated by the previous sentence, the shoe may fit) Do you know what you do not know? Are you willing to seek, to move on, to evolve? The questioning philosopher, Socrates, said “The unexamined life is not worth living.” I believe him, do you?