Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Like Minded

I've been thinking about the idea of filling one's life with like minded people. I understand the temptation. When we surround ourselves with people who think just like us, we never have to question our beliefs or thoughts or ideas. We never have to expand outside our safety zones. We can reinforce whatever we want to believe regardless of facts or the picture beyond our front doors. We never have to find out we're wrong about anything because what a travesty it is to learn one is wrong.

I don't know about you, but this would begin to bore me.

Besides how do we find solutions to problems or figure out how to improve situations or even find fulfillment in life if no one ever challenges us?

I have friends with myriad backgrounds. My circle includes people of a multitude of religions or lack thereof, people from around the world who expose me to various cultures, people with varying degrees of political awareness and involvement, pacifists, activists, those in the military, people who abhor the military, gay people, straight people, married people, single people, conservatives, liberals, traditionalists and progressives, writers, non-writers, readers, and non-readers. I could go on, but these are all just labels. As I've said before, I hate labels. (See Human Beings First, Forget the Labels) At heart, these are people who have much more in common than not even if they'd never admit it.

I find the mix of people in my life exciting most of the time. I see how other people think and what drives them. I get to have conversations that prove we all have more in common than not. I love it when I post something with an edge to it that those who inhabit my life gravitate toward with equal enthusiasm. This proves to me that human beings can find common ground if they open their hearts and minds to not only those who are like minded but to those who aren't.

I'm naturally curious about people and what makes them who they are, so, for me, in the absence of lies and half-truths, I appreciate and respect myriad people's points of view. I don't discuss certain topics on places like Facebook because I don't think there's any point; however, it doesn't take a lot of effort to figure out where I stand.

The interesting thing I've discovered is that many of my friends assign "beliefs" to me based on their interpretation of my behavior, which just goes to show once again how much we all have in common. In those moments, I wonder if we dropped all these beliefs that divide us and just treated one another with love and respect, would we discover a better life for all or would those who use their beliefs to create division just seek out another way to create division? After all, a belief is not a fact...

There are moments when I like the relief my like minded friends bring me because I, like everyone else, appreciate knowing I'm not alone when it comes to the things that are important to me, but I also don't do particularly well with "yes" people. I'd much rather surround myself with people, the like minded and the not so like minded, who help me better understand the human condition and what brings humanity to the life we live.


2 comments:

  1. Nice read.. but i am thinking like-minded would hurt those who are already intelligent, its the other case i'd be worried about. Nonetheless, open-minded people is even a better and a wider net to cast.

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