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Education

Challenging Routines and Beliefs

Challenging Routines and Beliefs

Photo: Learning to Get Along With Others, Regardless of Differences

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It is very easy to get caught up in the rhythms of our day. We get comfortable with the requirements of home and work, family and friends.  We know what to do when to do and often with whom.  Because it is comfortable, we surround ourselves with the familiar and with people who think and act like we do. So what would happen if we threw all that out and challenged our routines?

I am often surprised to read about polls that show some commonly held belief that challenges my beliefs. Like many people I am surrounded with people who generally think like me.  We have discussions about the state of all kinds of things but since we share many beliefs our world view stays relatively unchallenged.  Is that a problem? Why do we need to challenge our beliefs or shake up our routines?  Is it important to learn about other perspectives or differing points of view? I think it is and it would serve us well to learn more about what others think.

An unexamined life or beliefs that remain unchallenged lead to a rigidity that limits our thinking. When we don’t make room for other points of view we begin to think that our way is the best way and the only way. That not only sends a very bad message to those around us, but really hurts us as well.  We miss out on the experiences of learning from the differences around us. We limit our opportunities for expanding our routines, our friendships, and the possibilities that emerge from looking beyond our comfort zone.

In this day and age of vitriolic rhetoric there are many who made careers on demonizing those who have different beliefs.  These people encourage us to stay within the borders of those who think like us, to limit our interactions with those who might shed a different light on our strongly held beliefs. But I would encourage you to do just the opposite. Take some time and learn about the other side of your beliefs. Shake up your routines and speed up or slow down the rhythms of your day by talking to those who don’t share your beliefs.