We each carry inside us the ideas and beliefs that make us who we are. But have you ever stopped and asked yourself where they came from? Why do you do things this way instead of that? Why do I believe this or why am I against that?
Finding Out Why
I was once told a story about a young woman making a roast for her new husband. He saw her cutting the end off the meat and he asked her why she did that. She explained it was how her mother did it. Curious, she called her mother and asked her why. Her mom said it was how her own mother did it. So they called grandma, who explained that her pan wasn’t big enough for the whole roast, so she had to cut the end off to cook it.
As children we often pick up ideas from how we see something, too often without context. This creates beliefs about ourselves or others that we carry into adulthood. It shapes who we become. It teaches us how to do big things, as well as small things. We cook roast one way while our neighbor has a completely different recipe. Are either of you wrong? Or is it our mindset that keeps us from seeing life from the perspective of someone else?
Finding Out Where
What I know is what I have learned. What I believe is what I have experienced with the learning. When I am willing to learn from other’s experiences and knowledge, my mindset can be changed.
So where does your mindset, your knowledge and beliefs come from? Someone, probably a parent or a teacher or a friend or maybe social media, taught you what you know.
I once had a friend who strongly believed that everything her mother taught her was the right way. Our friendship didn’t last long because I didn’t share her belief and did things different. There were times I spent trying to explain myself to no avail. She would not step away from how right she believed she was.
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe there are foundational and moral truths in this life. But I do believe our own mindsets have interpreted those to fit what we have been taught. Like a child without the full context of a situation, we take what we see from our perspective and then decide we know what is best for everyone involved.
When you realize where your mindset of something came from, you can then ask yourself if it is something to hold tight to or if you are willing to try a new recipe once in a while.
The next time you find yourself judging how someone handles a situation, ask yourself why you think they are wrong. Which of your ideas and beliefs are being challenged? And before you say anything to them, talk to them about their own perspective, their own mindset. You may find new ways of seeing life and of seeing others.
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