Older people are so cool.
Really, I’ve learned now that this could read: Other people are so cool.
Being the youngest in a family of seven, my early years quickly taught me to look to the example of older people. My kidlet brain just thought, “They know everything! Trust everything they say!” (Unfortunately this trust was misguided as to jokes. Older people make jokes, as it turns out, and thus an old age joke is the very thing that lead me to believing that my parents were in their 300’s in age… when they were in their thirties and forties. #DadIsNotMethuselah)
Anyway, I really looked up to my family, and especially my siblings. I came to look to them for influence in how I saw the world, in my interests, and probably most prevalently, my taste in music. (Except, of late, I’ve abandoned much of the classic Ricks enchantment with slow and pensive rock songs for fairly frequent pop diva or EDM tunes. Sorry, my music can’t always be depressing!)
Anyway, this openness to others’ opinions has I think lead me to have a character trait that I am glad I have. According to an infallible, free online Myers Briggs personality test—I am open-minded, accepting, and empathetic.
In all honesty, If I had remained absolutely closed-minded throughout my life… I don’t think I would be alive. I had a mindset once upon a time that I was a broken, unfixable human. Perspective shifts may have literally saved my life. And a big part of my ability to see other perspectives was looking at all the many varied kinds of people with whom I share this planet.
I’m not advocating abandoning values, standards, or even opinions with even the slightest hints of change in popular belief. I’m sure we all hold at least some things to be true which a majority of other humans do not believe. I am simply advocating that we all look to one another once in a while for some refreshment on perspectives, discoveries, and inspiration.
My siblings often have perceptions on things that I have never considered.
My parents have each helped me see my life in new ways at so many important crossroads.
Even the random strangers that talk at me on public transit can perceive the world in a manner wholly foreign to me, but which can still be instructive in its turn.
Other people are pretty cool, and they can teach you a lot… maybe even everything you need to survive.
Don’t discount the perspectives of other people around you.