“Education is not something you can finish.” – Isaac Asimov
Education and learning aren’t limited to time in school, it’s an ongoing opportunity for those of us interested enough in life!
When we get a mindset that our education stopped when we graduated and left school, we can start to develop a closed mind to new things.
People with closed minds usually think they’re right, and will feel the need to stand their ground against anyone coming in with a new idea, preferring to stick with the old tried and true!
Closed minds are dangerous for companies, because they can become blinded to anything different from standard procedure, and thus not be able to see when they’ve become outdated.
Closed minds are dangerous for relationships, because if one or both people aren’t open to trying a new method of communicating, or handling responsibilities, they can suffer a breakdown in the relationship, risking separation.
Closed minds are dangerous for communities when people get so entrenched in their position that they lose the ability to empathize with their neighbor or to be able to see a way to live side by side harmoniously.
When we continue to educate ourselves after our formal schooling ends, we keep our minds more open; even simply entertaining new concepts allows our minds to remain flexible, giving us grater empathy, understanding and the ability to see different solutions!
By staying open, we’re much more willing to see someone else’s point of view instead of insisting on our own, and then we can be much more adept at finding workable compromises and solutions which are a win-win.
This unprecedented time has seen even previously open people shut down, feeling overwhelmed and unable to process emotions and their lives where previously they excelled.
For many people, having now lived long-term with the underlying fear and anxiety that the Pandemic has brought into our world collectively, our responses have shifted more to where the Amygdala dominates, producing fear induced actions from people who previously were operating from a more rational place.
This is a normal and understandable human response, but unfortunately, the results are playing out now in our relationships, in our communities and in the workforce.
Antagonism towards each other, the perceived weaker one, the outsider, others not within our circle, are all obvious in the headlines we read daily, from the texts we receive or the social media warring happening in real time.
To return back to a place where we’re not operating from a place where our Amygdala is the Director, we need to teach ourselves once more to become open instead of suspicious, to learn to be kind to ourselves when we want to beat ourselves up, to be kind and neighborly to one another if we’ve said or done things we regret.
Educating ourselves at this time about how to heal from this difficult time will entail some inward work, to see patterns and to gain confidence to change thought and behavior patterns.
We all share the responsibility to become better than we were before, we all have the ability to accomplish what needs doing, but only some will be willing or feel able to do the work.
Part of being able to move forward from the negative actions or words said during this very stressful time is to 1) take responsibility for it, own it fully by first acknowledging it to yourself and to the other people, 2) be truly apologetic, and then 3) seek to make amends by improving behavior and being kind, instead of trying to brush it under the rug or to deny it happened.
We all have our weaknesses, our frailties, and even dark sides.
It is how they are expressed which matters. When we behave or speak in ways which are hurtful to others, we destroy what is most precious to us: our relationships, the goodwill of others and our own self respect.
If you see your behavior or actions reflected here and feel you need to turn a new page, Bravo! I support and encourage you!
Please look at what resources and support you may need to help yourself through this process!
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