Sometimes we live in a bubble. There is a circle around us that defines us by where we live, who we talk to, what we eat.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Many people are comfortable knowing exactly who they are in life. I’m a 34-year-old Hispanic male who’s lived in the Southwest most of his life and that’s OK with me.
I live around mostly Hispanic and Anglo people. I eat Mexican food on a regular basis because in the town I live we don’t have Italian food restaurants. The people I talk to think as I do, share the same etiquette, same ideals.
Life is good but in some ways it’s not surprising and now that we are in the heat of summer, planning a getaway is just what the doctor ordered.
In 1929, Georgia O’Keeffe traveled with her friend by train, searching for a new source of inspiration. Their long trip took them from New York to Santa Fe and in the third quarter of her life, O’Keeffe would become known as a New Mexican artist, defining the colors and landscapes of the Land of Enchantment.
It took a long trip and a chance made by a brave choice for a woman who was looking to get outside of her bubble to start a new chapter in her life.
I think sometimes we need to get out of our bubbles. In this election year, we will hear a lot about important issues. Professional thinkers will debate gun control and abortion. Politicians will let us know that their point of view is one in which we should believe.
And through the discourse, we’ll fall back into the bubble for protection. We’ll turn to the TV station with the commentator that will reassure us of our beliefs. We’ll turn to him because he will tell us what we want to hear and it will make us feel good.
I challenge my friends and family to leave the bubble. Attend a community meeting with a group of people for which you normally wouldn’t associate. Turn to that TV station you blocked from your channel listings and just watch and listen for a good hour.
Pick up the newspaper and read an editorial from a commentator you know will probably make your head shake back and forth.
It will be uncomfortable, but it will also be enlightening. Be like Georgia O’Keeffe. Leave your comfort zone and discover something new. You might find that you will not only better understand others; you’ll appreciate your own thinking, your own way of life in a new way.
“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life — and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” — Georgia O’Keeffe
Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com on June 24, 2016.