Open minded or simply ego driven?

Many of us, myself included, could do with expanding our views on a multitude of topics, opening up our minds to differing perspectives, if only to really understand why we hold certain views of our own, and of course to sometimes re-evaluate and change those views.

Unfortunately these days, I see many people accusing others of being close minded, chastising them because after that person listens to the others opinion and still does not agree, they are told to be more open minded.

There seems to be some confusion here; being open minded does NOT mean that you have to change your mind and agree with someone just because they tell your their opinion, even if they make good points. In most cases there is not one way to view a topic and so this struggle to force someone to agree with you is simply a case of wanting to feed your own ego to feel right.

To be open minded means to be receptive to others opinions, to have the capacity to listen and find common points of agreement within a subject but not to fully agree with someone at all times. Fundamentally the system of values we choose to run on is a complex machine and it cannot be in sync with every human being around us.

If you find yourself in a constant state of anger or irritation when debating others simply because no one agrees with you the way you want them to, then I suggest you rethink your strategy and perhaps focus more on what you can learn from others to expand your own viewpoints and not care whether you can turn someone to your side.

Life should be a celebration of difference, perhaps not all things are equal, and some in my view are quite horrible, but overall we have more in common to enjoy then to complain about.

 

Finding our limits

We have become a soft society, seeking out ways to maximize our comfort and minimizing any kind of discomfort.

This may seem like a good thing, and it is in some ways, there is nothing inherently wrong with being comfortable and finding more efficient ways to do things, especially when it frees up time to do what you truly wish to do.

But unfortunately this seems to lead us to two different extremes.

There are those who wallow in comfort, never getting out of their comfort zone, and subsequently causing a myriad of psychological and physiological issues in the process. Then we have people who cannot seem to recognize that we all have limits and we need to respect those limits before our systems break down as well.

There is a fine line we must balance upon, the idea is to find your limit and very gently cross it, and then retreat and allow ourselves to adapt over time to a new limit and so on.

But many people just don’t take the time for the  introspection it requires to know your limits and overcome them in a healthy manner, while others simply never even begin the search in the first place.

Human beings are adapters, probably the greatest species to ever come into existence on this planet, because our limits, although many, are still radically small compared to the limits of most creatures on this planet.

We should be grateful for this, and push ourselves to be the best we can be, but within reason, and not to the detriment of other things in our lives, like our health and the health and happiness of those we care for.

Find your limits, push them, but remember that life will push back, and it is a hell of a lot stronger than we are.

 

Does Humanity have meaning or is it just meaningless?

What does it mean to have purpose?

We talk of these things as though they naturally have import, but they are simply another set of ideas made up by Humans to give meaning to the drudgery of life, especially modern life.

The dreams of those who search for meaning in a life that has none except survival until our final deaths.

Should we just survive? live everyday following our base desires and needs without thought to the future and what we leave behind, releasing ourselves from the concept of responsibility for those who come after us.

Or should we aspire to make of ourselves something more, something greater, even if that concept of greatness is made up as well, does it have any less weight to it?

I wish I was the type of person to simply say yes it does and leave it at that, but unfortunately my brain refuses to let things pass so easily.

What I can say is that in my head and my heart I truly wish that all of us, from children to elderly, ascribed as much meaning as we could to each of our actions, bringing depth and wonder to everything that life has to offer, because I believe that even if it does not have some kind of spiritual meaning, it still will have a positive impact on those around us and future generations, leading to a better world for our descendants as well as all the creatures that share this beautiful planet with us.

If we cannot appreciate people leading happier lives because we did the best we could in our time, then what else is there?

It may all be made up fantasy in our heads, but at least it has some concrete positive effects, and that’s pretty much all we have.

Choose

Choices are all we have in this world. The choice to leave or to stay, to take a chance on something, regardless of how crazy it is, or the choice to allow our fear of the unknown to cripple us.

Which would you rather be, the crazy one..or the cripple?

Choose.

Open mind and the values we strive for

Keeping an open mind is imperative, as we understand that many perspectives hold value, sometimes carrying a piece of a grander picture we have yet to uncover.

While allowing for an open mind, we must still be firm and unyielding on matters of import, especially when we have reasoned through the subject matter.

Humans as a whole must choose a code to live by.

A set of ideals to strive towards, understanding that none of us are perfect, and that we will stumble and fall in our attempts to reach the lofty heights of our idealism, but we must not allow our failures to hinder us from continuing on the path, otherwise we will spend our lives adrift in a storm ridden sea, unable to find the light in the darkness guiding us to shore.

Remembering Honor

I have been thinking about the concept of Honor for awhile now.
I think for most people these days, especially in western culture, the idea of acting with honor simply does not enter into their minds, possibly for their whole lives.  It is not surprising considering it is a pretty archaic  idea, predominantly associated with knights and nobility.

I would say when looking back on History, the idea of Honor was mostly ridiculous.
How many thousands of Men killed others in the name of their offended Honor? people would grow enraged at the simple thought that someone was slandering them, and would call them out in defense of their so called Honor. These are simply insecurities manifesting as violence.

True Honor to me is a matter of oaths.

How someone speaks of you or to you, what other people do, all these things do not matter. What truly matters is that one sticks to a set of values or ideals and stakes their Honor on upholding those ideals against all odds.
Now this can be twisted in some ways as well, many knights and soldiers would remain true and loyal to lords or kingdoms that they knew were wrong and corrupt simply because they had sworn an oath and would not back down from it for fear of tarnishing their Honor, but this is unacceptable to me as well.

Honor is internal, it is loyalty to a set of ideas, not a person. Now you can find that someone is worthy of your loyalty because they embody the values that you hold dear, and so you focus on protecting them, guiding them, helping them in any way you can. But to follow a madman simply because you swore an oath is the same as tearing out a piece of your own soul.
Real Honor is what we are sorely lacking in this modern day and age. You only hear about it from soldiers, most of whom do not even understand why they are doing what they are doing, simply obeying orders.
But to truly take the time to think about who you want to be and what ideals you wish to aspire towards and focusing all your effort on honorably following them, now that is something worthy of praise.

I have failed again and again in my life due to a lack of discipline and focus on what is important, but there is always another chance to pick up the pieces and try again.

Honor can be useful when viewed as a set of principals to aspire too.

We should all remember Honor.

Stand strong and get it done

Sometimes you just need to stop asking questions and take a leap of faith.

Knowing that something is the right thing to do for yourself or others is impossible.

No matter how much proof we have, there is always the chance that the choice you make is not the right one, that it leads to unforeseen and possibly disastrous consequences.

But at the end of the day, you have to make the choice to just put one foot forward and see what happens. The most important part is being adaptable, paying careful attention and adjusting as you go along.

But you do need to stand for something eventually, regardless of how open minded you focus on being, no matter how much you shift opinions and change, there is a core of values and ways of being that eventually will settle deep inside you, and the worst thing you can do is not stand by them, allow weakness and fear to overwhelm you.

Whether it is in your day to day way of living in relation to others, the morals you espouse, or the lifestyle and way of training that you believe in, at some point you need to put your flag down and say this is who I am and what I stand for. With the caveat that you are a flawed human being and reserve the right to evolve and change your ideas as you progress on your journey.

Stand strong, get shit done, live your values and grow day by day.