Today you may hear words that upset you. Today you may be confronted with ideas that challenge your innate or carefully cultivated sense of knowing that you are on the right path. What will you do when you are faced with these challenges to your personal perspective? How will you cope with a confrontation to your peace of soul?
If I believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every individual, am I not obligated to listen to what others have to say with an ear toward truly hearing them? Even if their words disrupt my own equilibrium…
How can I claim to support justice, equity, and compassion in human relations if I am not willing to abandon the preservation of my own contentment in order to bring each of them into being as a reality for everyone in this world?
If I claim acceptance of others, and wish for them the same breadth of spiritual growth that I myself strive for, how can I close my mind to their stories of how they feel and how they experience society and the people around them?
And if I value the goal of a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all, do I not owe it to myself and my community to invite discomfort in to my heart and mind in order to do the work that will get us there?
We can only grow in understanding of the world and our fellow human beings when we invite in ideas that challenge our status quo of knowing. When we resist the urge to dismiss that which would overturn our sense of this present reality as being only what our own long-held perspective would allow us to see.
If an idea disquiets you, make the effort to entertain it for a moment… or two. If a notion unsettles you, ask yourself what it is that you find disturbing, and whether there is value in examining the discomfort that it has stirred. Resist embracing contentment over facing difficult truths. Change can be hard, but if we do not challenge ourselves to confront our own preconceived notions, can we credibly claim to believe in and embody the Principles we hold so dear?
Take the risk of opening your mind, today. Listen, learn, be humbled, seek and own your discomfort. And then go forth to effect change.