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Daily Inspiration — Challenging your own beliefs

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If you read something that fits in well with your current framework of beliefs, the chances are good that you'll learn something new, and integrate a new piece of knowledge with what you already know. But the chance that you'll be moved to change and grow are close to zero.

If you read something that doesn't fit with what you presently know and believe, chances are good that you'll disbelieve it, you'll forget the information, or put it out of your mind. But in the rare event that you believe it, take it in and integrate it, the potential for change and growth and personal transformation is high.

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Inevitably, most of what we read is in the first category, and rightly so. But don't limit your reading to the familiar and the comfortable. Once or twice a week, take in something that you deeply disagree with. Read something that you know in advance is wrong and misguided, even morally depraved.

Let yourself take it in. How would you answer someone who thinks this way? What would you say to him to win him over to your own perspective? If he attacked your beliefs at their most vulnerable point, how would you defend yourself?

If appropriate, you might take a step further: If I had the same life experiences as this person, would my beliefs be like his? Who do I know who has changed over the years from a perspective like this one to a perspective like mine? Who do I know who has changed in the other direction, starting from beliefs that agree with my present views, evolving toward these alien ideas that I just read?

 

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Josh Mitteldorf, a senior editor at OpEdNews, blogs on aging at http://JoshMitteldorf.ScienceBlog.com. Read how to stay young at http://AgingAdvice.org.
Educated to be an astrophysicist, he has branched out from there to mathematical (more...)
 

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