Are you a follower?

Do you follow certain people whose opinions you value? Do you take their opinions and beliefs as your own? If so, it’s time to examine your beliefs and opinions. Look at how you formed those opinions and beliefs.

Some of us are told what to think and do it gladly; some of us are told what to think and reactively take the opposite side; but some of us examine those thoughts and formulate our own. I believe that only by examining all sides of an issue can we truly arrive at a belief or opinion. It is too easy to just parrot what someone else has said or written. And it’s too easy in this internet age to read only opinions that agree with our own. That is the best way I know to become narrow-minded.

Try listening to people who disagree with you; really listen. I find that too many people don’t know how to listen. Active listening means hearing what the person is saying, observing their body language, and absorbing what they say. It doesn’t mean sort of listening while you’re thinking about what your response will be.

The art of thoughtful debate has been lost somewhere along the way; we are too quick to dismiss someone else’s opinion if it doesn’t match our own. Only by listening to everyone’s opinion can we learn and grow.

Try it for a while!