In light of what I wrote yesterday about resolutions, and the fact that a friend of mine took it to heart and has resolved to try a new fruit or vegetable every month (Tip of the hat to Tami) I want to issue a Try New Stuff Challenge.
Do the fruit and veggie thing. Okay maybe not every month, maybe once a season. Learn something new; take a class, dip your toes into a new craft, learn a new language. Read an author you’ve never read before or listen to music you’re sure you don’t like and try to like it. Do something that’s outside your comfort zone. Maybe that would be chatting with a stranger at the bus stop, maybe it would be skydiving. Maybe it would simply be learning to like red wine. (Tip of the hat to Karen.)
Listen to someone who has different political, social or religious views, and be prepared to ask thoughtful questions about what they say. Not judgmental ones — don’t plan on trying to change them — just questions that will help you assimilate their views. Perhaps they won’t change your mind about anything, but they’ll seem more human to you.
Recognize that there are a lot of things about which you know nothing. Choose one and learn about it.
Give each of your New Things an honest try. You don’t have to come to like any of it so long as you make the effort to get to know it, know what it’s like. Use common sense but be open to something new. The point here is to open yourself up to new possibilities. We spend so much time closing ourselves off because all we want is to lead the most comfortable life possible. We say “I don’t like…” or “I can’t…” when most of the time what we mean is “I’m not willing to…”
Do just one thing differently, do it with honesty and resolve, and recognize that it’s for you, not for anyone else. Recognize that opening even a tiny part of your life up to something new is going to enrich you.