How do you feel about people from other cultures? What political party do you support? Do you practice a particular religion? I don’t need to know the answers to these questions – but do you ever really think about it?
Have you ever really considered why you follow a certain political party or why do hold particular views on things? Could it be because that’s the way your parents voted or that they are the views instilled in you by an influential person in your life?
I was raised by a mother who had quite narrow views on everything and so those were the same views I held. After all, our parents are always right, right?
As I grew into adulthood, I carried those views with me, never questioning whether they were right or wrong, or whether there were other choices in life.
It wasn't until I was in my forties that I actually started to think about things like why I voted for a certain government (it was because that is how my mother always voted,) why I held certain beliefs about people from other cultures (I took my cues from other family members,) and it had been that way with almost every aspect of my life.
Image courtesy of pixabay / Colmo
But I have learned over the years to question my beliefs and attitudes about all things. While my family influenced me most heavily, in some cases my attitudes were drawn from other people from my past such as school teachers and religious figures. It has taken me many years to reach a point where I can truly say that my attitudes and opinions are completely my own.
While I believe it’s important to have people in our lives that guide us and help to shape the adults we become, we also need to form our own beliefs and opinions – even when they may contradict what we've been taught.
Image courtesy of flickr
Questioning my own beliefs has been an eye-opening journey and one that has taken me a great distance from where I began. Rather than being unsettling, it has brought me to a place of tolerance, broad-mindedness and enthusiasm for what else I am yet to discover about myself.