Together we have agreed that next year will be different from the past year. We’ve agreed to the Change Challenge.
So what next? We’ve started to Grow Our Brains by reading every day…even if it just a page or two. We’ve Grown Our Brains, Bigger by learning a new word every day through on-line tools and dictionary resources. Now it’s time to think even bigger thoughts.
This will be the hardest part of the Change Challenge. Growing your brain means you need to challenge your ideas. Challenge your beliefs. Challenge your comfort level with ideas that are contrary to your upbringing, different from your core beliefs, a diversion from who you are today.
Today’s Challenge: Listen to a different point of view. This isn’t an exercise intended to arm yourself with more “material” to fight against the evil “Others”. This is an opportunity to stretch and grow. There is NOTHING black and white; there are always shades of gray. Your challenge is to look for that middle place, the common ground.
If you are a faithful Rush fan, while it will be difficult, listen to Thom Hartman or Stephanie Miller for an hour.
If you are a died-in-the-wool Liberal, read some information put out by the Republican party without making comment.
If you are an Ultra Conservative Christian, stand in the same room with a homosexual (that’s probably about as close as you can get on your first attempt).
If you are a Lutheran, drink a cup of coffee with a Baptist and talk about worship styles.
If you are a Methodist you are probably already too open minded and should just sit quietly by yourself.
This is hard stuff. But a successful venture into the realm of the “other side” of life will help you grow as a person and expand your world. You don’t have to be so opened-minded that your brains fall out, but you can discover the simple truth that anything, any idea, any person can have value if we stop and listen long enough.
Good luck. You’re going to need it.