Outside the Box

I rarely read anything other than the genre that engages me. I occasionally change my television viewing habits just to see what’s on the other side. I doubt that I will ever care much for Dog the Bounty Hunter, but it was exposure to a previously unknown element.

It occurred to me there is more at play here than changing viewing or reading habits. Stepping outside the box requires effort and an open mind.
I wonder if the reason most of us don’t have an understanding of opposing views is because we are complacent in our belief system and don’t want to risk the possibility we might be wrong. Discovering other political, health care or cultural systems raises questions that could cause us to question our own values and then we might actually have to act on them.

It is not comfortable to be with people who share radically different opinions. But don’t we miss out on an opportunity to expand our own perspective? We might become more interesting or at the very least expand shrinking brain sizes. Viewing other choices does not require us to embrace them, but is a small step toward remaining relevant to our surroundings.

Getting stuck can occur across all age groups and social structures. Young adults most likely would never check out Doc Martin or listen to Frank Sinatra or watch a movie about old people, such as Quartet. Conversely, older adults are not too likely to watch a young adult sit com, listen to Maroon Five or see Snoop Dog in concert.

It is easier to put down whatever genre we are not comfortable with or don’t feel fits in with our social or cultural guidelines. Could this be the reason why there is such a divide politically?

Stepping outside comfort zones requires effort and an open mind. Maybe I’ll start today to test my mettle and read the editorial about Ted Cruz.

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