O is for Openness

Punta Sur, Cozumel Mexico Photo Credit: Doree Weller

Punta Sur, Cozumel Mexico
Photo Credit: Doree Weller

I try to be open to new experiences and ideas.  There was a time when I was such a know-it-all that I thought I was open minded, but I really wasn’t.  I would listen to the other person and then tell them why they were wrong.  Or, I would automatically discount something because I thought I wouldn’t like it.

As time went on, I realized that the people I admired were the ones who listened, and who would change their minds if something convinced them.  I admired the people who considered every point of view.  And I admired the people who were willing to try anything.

So, I decided to be more like them.  It’s not always easy.  There are times I find myself relapsing into my know-it-all ways.  I just try to catch myself at it, and move on.  Over time, I’ve realized that I don’t have to be right, and I certainly don’t have to have all the answers.

I feel like I keep being presented with life lessons, and I try to be open enough to learn them.  For instance, because I’m a writer, I tend to make up stories about strangers.  The problem is that there’s sometimes a fine line between “creative story exercise” and “being judgmental.”  The reason I say this is that there are times when I find myself jumping to conclusions about someone based on how they look, and then they end up proving me wrong.

I used to feel ashamed of myself for these times when I found myself being judgmental, but now I’m just glad that I’m open enough to be continually learning lessons.

Everyone has something to teach me.  It’s up to me to be open to it.

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