Growing up I tended to befriend people who agreed with me on most issues.
But as I aged I realized the danger in surrounding yourself only with people who think like you. How can you be open-minded if you never had to think outside of a narrow line of thinking? Being closed-minded creates every problem in the world. Being open-minded creates every solution to those problems.
I have circled the globe for 10 years. Spending months or even years in places like Thailand, Bali, Fiji and Oman taught me how to agree with life the way it is, no matter how much the ego disagrees.
For example, I recall spending my first few days in Doha, Qatar. Seeing women in full burkas felt different for me because my Western ego disagreed with covering up the body. But I learned to not only respect this Muslim custom but also to see the rational behind covering up the body. Spending 1 month in Qatar and 1 month in Oman taught me this: covering most if not all the flesh – save the eyes – gives zero attention and energy to what does not matter much and 100% of your attention and energy to issues far greater than yourself.
Muslim people are some of the kindest I have met during my world travels. Muslims are predominantly focused on serving others, not serving self. A Muslim family in Koh Lanta invited us in for dinner after picking up laundry from their street-side shop in the middle of the jungle. Muslim kindness is legendary! People in Oman invited Kelli and I in for coffee and dates BEFORE meeting us in person. People reach out with love as a rule through that culture because they focus little on self from vane, prideful perspectives and concentrate deeply on serving others.
BUT…..I had to mentally let go any mental disagreements the ego fed me concerning Western culture versus Muslim culture well before respecting, understanding and admiring Muslim culture. I agreed with a different viewpoint not meaning that I would become Muslim or live according to Muslim principles but because I saw the higher energy application of any concept I disagreed with, prior.
Surround yourself with people who vibe high and offer different:
from all over the globe. Use the internet! Facebook gives you potentially 2 billion human connections with folks from all over planet earth. Befriend folks. Learn about different cultures. Dissolve disagreements into:
Dissolve racism, bias and prejudice by learning how to agree with every different viewpoint as it is.
Agreeing with life as it is does not mean embodying different concepts, attempting to practice 50 religions or changing your values every 0.05 seconds. Agreeing with life as it is means understanding different viewpoints without:
different frames of thought.
I spent 2 months in Qatar and Oman wearing long-sleeved shirts and sweatpants to respect local culture. Wouldn't you know I saved hour's worth of time worrying about what I would wear, how I looked and other vane, ego-obsessed, deluded obsessions during those 2 months in Muslim lands? I may wear a T-shirt and shorts now in the USA but I agree with focusing not on fashion, how you look or other vain ideas but simply on being kind to others and focusing on something bigger than yourself and your individual ego desires.
THIS is agreeing with life as it is. Respect folks with viewpoints different than yours to understand how people think differently, why they think differently and how finding points of agreement joins us into a powerful one versus separating us into a weakened many.
About the Author
Ryan Biddulph helps you learn how to blog at Blogging From Paradise.
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