As we grow up our beliefs are shaped and molded mainly by what our parents believe. Our belief system constitutes a big part of our cultural environment, and most times we absorb it, accept it, and make it ours by default, no questions asked. When we start venturing out of our comfort zone we might discover there are other belief systems out there, and start challenging our own as our concept of the world gets broader. It is not bad to live by a belief system we have “inherited” if it serves a greater purpose and helps us to better integrate and develop a communion with all living things. It is totally acceptable too to decide to change our beliefs if we feel it will lead to a higher learning and evolution.
As parents we instill a lot of beliefs in our children, not only religious, but beliefs of all kinds. It is almost impossible to think about our children as not being extensions of ourselves, and as such we work hard to get our belief system soaked into our children’s pshyche, so much so we would like for them to never question or abandon what we have worked so hard to infuse. However, we must understand that in order for our children to become their own person, questioning, changing, adapting, abandoning, re-shaping old belief systems might aid them in achieving greatness and wholeness as part of their own growth processes. There is nothing wrong in living by old constructs as there is nothing wrong with building new ones. As parents, we have to think about the ultimate-our children’s overall well-being-more than imposing our own belief system into them, even when we think we are doing it for their own good. We must understand that all individuals, including our children, are gifted with free will, and by them changing what we have taught them does not mean we have failed, nor they have betrayed us. We plant the seed, but so many things are in the soil it might make the harvest look different than we might had anticipated, and that is OK too.
The Daily OM
Today may find you feeling open-minded and interested in exploring liberal and progressive beliefs. You may even feel a bit controversial as you consider philosophies that those you know would most likely dispute. By being willing to investigate ideas from outside your comfort zone, you may act as the translator for those less willing to explore them. When a trusted friend introduces a new idea, it is easier to accept it than when to comes from a stranger. The information that comes after the friendly introduction reinforces the idea until eventually it becomes accepted. Today you can be the translator of progressive beliefs for your friends and family, helping to open their minds as well as your own.Even if those with whom we share these ideas still reject them, we have opened a dialogue that broadens the scope of the discussion. Controversy forces us to take another look at what we thought was absolute and see other possibilities. When we hear new concepts, we find new ways of understanding our current beliefs. It may help us to reaffirm what we already believed or find a new way of expressing ourselves. Learning more about the world pushes the boundaries of what we know and helps us to remember that we don't know everything. This newfound knowledge can help us be more tolerant of those who have different philosophies and help bridge gaps between people of different backgrounds. With your mind open today, you can see life as an adventure of learning and discovery to be shared with willing explorers.