As Douglas and I walked along the green-way, I saw the words seen in the photo above. It was not your normal graffiti. It made me stop and wonder what would freeing my mind actually entail? Indeed, is my mind closed in some areas, but open in other areas?
As we walked along the pavement, I thought to myself that freeing your mind is not an easy thing to do, mainly because so much of what we believe, especially about people we consider to be different from us, has been learned in our childhood homes. Our parents and other relatives have taught us what they believe, and those ideals tend to sink deep into our mental psyches, making it difficult to change what we believe.
I have had many of my beliefs challenged since I started blogging. At first, I only followed bloggers who were similar to me, mainly Christian blogging sites. I expected that as people of God or part of the Body of Christ that we would have similar views on nearly everything; indeed, we would be like peas in a pod.
I was flabbergasted to find that sometimes I disagreed with what other Christians wrote on their posts. But, even more important, I came to understand that if you only read the blogs of people whose thoughts mirror yours, you miss a lot of wonderful insight into the world.
So, I started to read many of the posts found in the Reader. I began to follow people’s blogs whose writings inspired me, entertained me, and educated me. I particularly enjoy those posts that smash many of my preconceived notions about the world. They motivate me to ask, “How did I come to believe what I think is true? Could some of my beliefs be wrong? Do I need to study more on some topics?”
We can be real scrooges when it comes to buying into the beliefs of others, whether those are beliefs on race, gender, religion, immigration, or, even, poetry versus prose or fiction versus non-fiction. If the thoughts and beliefs of others threaten our own comfortableness of view, then freeing our minds becomes too frightening to contemplate.
As a Christian, I believe in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
I have found that renewing my mind means freeing my mind, being open to seeing beyond the simple explanations of life fueled often by prejudice and ignorance. It is not easy to let go of what you have believed all of your life. It takes courage and a commitment to knowing the truth, which will truly set you free in more ways than you can realize.
What great advice to write on a rock face, challenging every walker, skater, or biker to confront their beliefs and to question what they have been told is the truth and nothing but the truth. I don’t know what was painted over, but it must not have been proper.
I am thankful for the range of beliefs among our blogging community, that not everyone thinks the same, and for the freedom to choose who to follow. Keep being yourselves, honest and unique, for you never know who profits from your experiences and the lessons of your lives.