“I believe we all by some point in our lives have a certain mindset that has been developed over the years by our experiences and our interpretation of those experiences.”
Our mindsets are useful tools, helping us to sort our current experiences quickly and without having to think too long and hard to make conclusions about them. In a way, they’re like a filing cabinet with tabs for our experiential knowledge. We can quickly determine where a current idea or thought process belongs and sort it into the proper “bin” in our minds. Or toss it into our virtual waste basket.
It’s one reason us folk “of a certain age” (I would never say “old fogies”) are prone to sort through current happenings, pass judgment on them, and relegate them to the proper bin in our minds. We don’t have to spend too much time thinking through any given situation or set of facts to test them. We just recognize the keywords from our past experiences with them and quickly determine which folder this given bit of information goes into.
This works efficiently whether our judgment is pro or con. We’ve already worked through our beliefs on that particular idea and don’t need to dwell on it now. The problem I find in handling information always in this way is that it doesn’t allow for new understanding.
Change is constant and things that were true ten, twenty, fifty years ago are often found to be untrue or irrelevant today. So our file drawers may not always be the best way to handle all the incoming information we receive. Our mindset may no longer be the best sieve to filter current events through.
To be sure, past experience is a factor in sizing up current situations and making helpful decisions about them. And it is a time-saver. Yet if we are too quick to pigeon-hole current information based only on past experience, we may miss some of the richness of living in the present.
I wonder what would happen if we approached each new experience or bit of information as though it was the first time we were feeling or hearing it. We just might discover a richness of knowledge that we could never have dreamed existed.
Until Next Time Writers!
Ellie Pulikonda, Writer/Author of “Split Second and now released, Finding Faith”