By Bronwyn Ison

If we all held the same opinions in common, our world would be rather mundane.  Possessing a difference of opinion creates engaging and stimulating conversation.  It is rather interesting two people can grow up in the same home, be taught the same values yet have such diverse views on the same topics.  It is also what propels our world round and round.

It is clear our country is rich with a population derived from different cultures, religious backgrounds, ethnicity and belief systems.  Often we are quick to judge others.  Generally, we judge on appearance.  Unfair indeed.  Immediately our opinions of a person become influential, leaving us a minute window of opportunity in getting to know a person.   Occasionally we are challenged with new ideas another person purposes.  We act from fear and erect barriers.  When we act out of fear we impair our own abilities.

Consider opening your heart and mind to what others have to offer and say.  Most of us are better talkers than we are listeners.  If you sit back and listen every once in a while you may catch something that is interesting to you.  I am the type of person who loves trying new things and going to a different place for dinner.  We can be creatures of habit.  When we venture outside our comfort zone, magic can happen.  For example: If you were invited to a party by a friend but knew you wouldn’t know anyone else, would you accept the invitation?  Your answer should be a resounding…YES!  It is the perfect opportunity to meet new people, be exposed to new ideas and have a good time.

The scenario I presented above is generally an intimidating situation.  Believe it or not people fear unknown quantities or meeting new acquaintances.  Most of us dwell in our own cocoons.  We have our own circle of friends, we’ve established routines and those closest to us accept our ways and opinions.  Accepting a new person into our lives renders us fearful with regard to acceptance. Guess what?  The other person is likely thinking the same.  You are not alone.

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Getting to know a person and accepting them for whom they are will require effort.  You must be willing to put forth the time and energy.  Plus, familiarity with someone can be an exceptionally rewarding experience.  Again, we often impede ourselves due to fear.

Think of it this way… a difference of opinion will allow for stimulating conversation.  You can be enlightened about a person.  Plus, you are opening your heart and mind. Accepting others is upward-growth as well as a greater acceptance of self.

Bronwyn Ison is the owner of Evolve Yoga. www.e-volveyoga.com 760.564.9642