To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
- Bertrand Russell
Sometimes people or elements enter our lives that are completely alien to us. Nothing we have encountered before… nothing we could even have imagined. Doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, it’s just different. But most of the times we act negatively towards it. Just like some people have a difficulty accepting change, most of us have a difficulty accepting these different people or elements. And even though most of the times we can’t really help feeling hostile or at least awkward towards it, we should reason with ourselves and try to see these new arrivals from a different light. There are a lot of things out there we don’t know of, there truly are.
And I feel proud that I have been able to reason with myself about this. I’m glad that I’m not feeling anything negative and ruining my chance of exploring this new entity, and most of all to learn to accept what’s different. Because humans are probably the most adaptive of races – we shouldn’t forget that.
It’s the varieties in this world that makes it interesting. Similarities make life safe, but dull. It’s by seeing what’s different that we learn things. There is a quote related to this which I found in Belgarath the Sorcerer by David Eddings:
Have you ever noticed that? We base our assessment of the intelligence of others almost entirely on how closely their thinking matches our own. I’m sure that there are people out there who violently disagree with me on most things, and I’m broadminded enough to concede that they might possibly not be complete idiots, but I much prefer the company of people who agree with me.
You might want to think about that.
So the next time you face something or someone alien in your life, don’t reject it at the first instant (unless of course it’s bad for you). If it’s a person, give her or him a second chance – because first impressions, whether active or passive, can be wrong.
Picture from: http://micco.se/2009/05/den-viktigaste-marknadsforingsstrategin/