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With every personal situation and experience, we all learn and grow from it. I think as I grow older, my outlooks and my expectations in life change as I grow through each and every single experience I face. For me personally, I think I’ve realized the importance of how much I need a friendship to challenge me. Not necessarily in knowledge, but to open my eyes to a different lens. To make me aware of another perspective, one of which I have never myself considered.

Sometimes, it’s nice to have a conversation with someone who has a different opinion than you. But it’s sad when people can’t be open to listening… open to accepting. It’s one thing to be opinionated and voice it, but it’s another to be closed minded. And that’s when people put up their barriers for protection, and instead of appreciating and listening to the other person’s thoughts and values, they abandon them and sometimes even look down upon them, and judge them for it. And all this perpetuates the fact that people ultimately cannot take things for what it’s worth; to be open minded and accepting and acknowledging of individual characteristics and diversity. Take religion for instance. Some people are so adamant on pushing their religion on other people that they forget that at the root of it all, it stems from the person and it’s individualistic. Take abortion. Why are you passing judgment on someone and making them feel guilty for something when YOU personally have a.) never experienced it and b.) you never even took one millisecond to think about THEIR perspective. Their story. Instead, you’re just on the bandwagon with millions of others, pointing the finger, when you haven’t taken the time to point the finger at yourself. Why must there always be a definite shade of black and white? Why can’t people see that things can be on a continuum?… There is no right and wrong. It depends on the context and it’s all dependent on how you see things, as a person. Which lens you’re putting on at the moment. Reality is reality only to the person interpreting it.

Despite how much potential there could be…. the biggest problem perhaps is the fact that people cannot remove themselves from the situation and reflect. This so happens with social situations. Yes, at the moment, things get heated and things get rough, but to acknowledge that no one was right/wrong… is something that is very hard to do. People always need to “one up” themselves and justify that what they did was ‘correct’. At the end of the day, they just can’t set things aside and let go of their pride… and “admit defeat”. Whatever that may mean. I’ve been there. And I’ve done it. On both sides. But for some, they would rather perpetuate this cycle than break free and acknowledge what’s going on… they would rather put up this barrier and blame the other party…

Sometimes we live in such a world that is so fast paced that it doesn’t allow us to stop and take the time to reflect. Or we’ve forgotten to do so. It is much easier to blame someone else for the mistakes that have been done than to take the 5 minutes out of our day to stop, reflect, and criticize or critically analyze ourselves. And that’s where the personal growth comes in. If you can’t stop and critically analyze what’s going on around you, then how are you getting this personal growth? How are you doing it if every time you’re talking to someone, you’re so closed minded? How can you possibly learn something new if you’re not even open to the idea of reflectively and reflexively listen to the other party?! What’s the point in finding someone to confide in when all you want to hear is them validating your opinions rather than offering you an alternative perspective?

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