I’m a little late posting this one from a few weeks back but week 20 of the mindfulness challenge was the week of challenging beliefs. I was supposed to be attentive to moments when I express a belief or strong opinion, make a mental note of the belief (or write it down), and then take 10 minutes later on to really believe the opposite. Sounds simple enough, right?
It was good in theory, but mentally, it was just too much work. I’m feeling very overwhelmed with my workload at the minute and I couldn’t really find the time to fully devote to this one. I feel that the world is negative enough right now and I couldn’t face thinking about my beliefs or opinions and even further disagreement in the world than there already is right now. I do hold strong opinions, but I’m also very open-minded (or at least try my best to be), so I am genuinely interested in why somebody might think differently to me. Maybe one day I’ll do this task properly!
On a side note, I think it’s really important that we all try to consider other peoples’ point of view a little more. You absolutely don’t have to agree with them, but rather than ruling them out as a write-off or an awful person, I find it useful to consider why they believe the things they do. Whether you can’t understand why somebody would view Donald Trump as a credible president, why someone might be pro-choice in terms of abortion, or why somebody wouldn’t agree with equality for all, there are people that do believe in these things and it is important to try to understand why. Of course, there’ll be times where somebody is outright offensive, rude or not looking at the bigger picture – that’s just life, but at least understanding the motives or rationale behind peoples’ beliefs is a start to comprehending why they might exist. Though I admit, it’s still something I’m working on and haven’t quite perfected just yet!
It’s difficult and can be infuriating, but at the end of the day, opinion is subjective and everybody is entitled to theirs – seeing the rationale behind other people’s opinions helps us understand a little more why they may agree with things that we otherwise might find incomprehensible and infuriating. You can still not agree with somebody, but at least try to understand. It might help you accept why people can believe such incredulous things, there’s a whole lifetime of internal and external factors that lead people to think and behave the way they do! Understanding is only ever a good thing and if we all applied a little more consideration, I think the world would be a much nicer place.
So if you’re interested in becoming more open-minded and mindful, and have a little more mental energy than I had this week, have a go at this challenge!
See you next week!