Meaningful mistakes

    More stories from Royce Ingram

    A Special Week
    December 10, 2014

    I recently made a mistake.

    I am not completely sure what it is, but I believe it exists because my actions disturbed a few of my friends of the opposite gender.

    This mistake could be in the specific words and tones I spoke in, or in the fact I said something that should not be said at all.

    I could have avoided this mistake by avoiding the persons whose thoughts do not run parallel to mine. I could hang out only with heterosexual, Ameri-Asian males who spend most of their time focusing on their next accomplishment.

    In surrounding myself with like minded individuals, there would be less conflict between differing perspectives. Ironically, in this theoretical harmonious environment, an essential skill is overlooked. The ability to seek understanding gained from experience with differing perspectives.

    I would definitely feel more comfortable with persons like myself. Doing things we all like to do. Believing things we all like to believe. But in this shell of isolation, we are deprived.

    We would miss out on hearing the perspective of someone who has a different sexual preferences or ideas about the way our state is governed. We would lose the ability to tolerate differences, explore ideas, and learn from others.

    I usually do not enjoy conflicts; they mess me up. I often lack the motivation to learn from others who have different opinions. I will mistakenly not really listen, withdraw my opinion for the sake of pleasing people, or become preoccupied with being right, and I miss out on the opportunity to enjoy the learning experience.

    Conflicts and differing opinions are an inevitable part of life. They are not always enjoyable, but if the right mindsets are used, they are mutually beneficial.

    Such attitudes for beneficial mindsets are developed through practice, like any skill. They cannot be built overnight or by yourself. Getting involved in extracurriculars is a fun way to expose yourself to a diversity of personalities that develop beneficial mindsets of learning.

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