Unless you’re talking about either the soapy things you blow and chase and squeal and marvel over, or the wad you chew and spread over your tongue and blow until it’s huge and pops all over your face, bubbles are not good things.
Tech bubbles and housing bubbles are notorious for bursting and causing ripples of financial disaster throughout the economy, but personal bubbles are even worse – the ones we sometimes put ourselves in that keep us from experiencing the world as it really is, or recognizing that not everyone processes the world in the same way.
There is nothing particularly strange about wanting to be with people who think like we think, believe what we believe. But when we surround ourselves with people like us to the exclusion of everyone who thinks or believes differently, it is easy to fool ourselves into believing that is reality, when it’s not necessarily so. There is little in this world that is cut and dried – with only one way to look at it.
I can’t count the times I’ve just sworn something was one way and could not be any other way, until I stopped and listened, and realized there was another way to look at the same set of facts and come to a different conclusion.
“Don’t believe everything you think” is a saying that comes to mind.
Having a belief system is good. But taking it out, dusting it off and checking to make sure it is still valid, that things haven’t changed, is a good thing to do every once in awhile.
Listening to the views of people who disagree with you is a good thing. Every now and then you learn something that changes the way you think. Or maybe you explain your views, and it makes someone else give your perspective another look and changes the way they think. It helps you to grow, to adapt to changes in the society, the world. It makes the world a better place in which to live.
I have changed a lot over the years. In fact, my world view now is so different as to be unrecognizable from the one I held just a few short years ago. But then, I’d been living in a bubble. It wasn’t until it burst and I listened, really listened to a different perspective that I realized I’d been duped.
So now, I get my information from more than one source, even sources that I find outrageous, just to make sure I still believe what I believe, and that I’m as close to the truth as I can get. That I’m making my decisions based on the best information I can find, not what anyone tells me to believe. That I’m not living in denial. And I am open to changing my mind as I get better information.
One of my uncles once told me I’d opened my mind so much my brains had fallen out.
I reject that. I opened my mind enough to realize I’d been lied to. By being willing to examine why I believed what I believed, I discovered there was a way of looking at things that was more inclusive, that took into account the varying ways people experience the world. It’s made me a more compassionate person, less judgmental, and more apt to live and let live.
Oh sure, I still think I’m right (well, left!) But I’m willing to have a rational discussion about anything and everything, and come to a compromise that gives each side as much of what they want as is possible, knowing that no one gets all they want. If a deal makes both sides happy, all the better, but I’ll settle for both sides being upset if that’s what it takes.
Whether you’re talking about personal relationships or politics, compromise is essential. And you can’t compromise if you live in a bubble. Whew. Heavy stuff tonight. I think I’ll decorate tomorrow instead of thinking!