Years back when I was talking about this new thing I was all into reading called blogs a friend asked why I would read something written by people I don't even know. I didn't have the quick answer at the time but now I do. If I stay in my little group of people that think like me, have experiences like me, where will the change and challenges come from? Since then I have been purposely looking for challenges to my perspective. Following are a few of those steps.
Read. I have learned so much about our shameful history and have a much bigger understanding of what is going on in our present thanks to reading. There is so much to be said about reading someones firsthand account of what it felt like to walk in their shoes. Or a well written fictional account of a horrific time in our not so distant past.
Travel. If you have the opportunity to travel I would take it. Steve and I took a trip some time ago and I found it to be an eye opener. It was to Georgia for a peanut tour (funny, right? He worked in peanut butter manufacturing at the time!). We occasionally found ourselves in areas where we were the minority which was a discomfiting feeling at best. It felt like something that was important to experience.
Talk. My girls have educated me so much on the gender changes that have taken place. I still struggle with pronouns but find myself much more sensitive to it with people. I find my husband to sweetly be trying his best as well. I grew up with guy friends wearing make up and nail polish so it doesn't feel shocking in any way. It's just a change that we are learning to navigate.
Experience. I love a good trip to a museum. I am alway surprised how changed I can feel when I come a way from a visit. From experiencing sculpture and interactive exhibits to photography, I love experiencing the world thru another persons eyes. And art is one way that comes the closest for me to doing so. Reading what their viewpoint or reasons were, and then seeing it in person is pretty much a charge for me. And then talking about it with friends...it almost makes me wish I was back in my college art classes!
Connect. I have been so incredibly happy at the connections I have made both in real life and thru social media. I have had meaningful conversations thru snapchat with people like Moorea Seal that I admire. I have been gifted with smart words on Brandi Kincaid's instagram just when they were needed. And I have found hazel + scouts blog post full of important steps to take in the war on racism. Most recently I found a list of helpful places to give in the wake of the disaster in Texas on Stephanie Howell's blog.
My world feels bigger because of this. And I hope I am a different person because of conversations I am having in real life and because of the things I am reading, experiencing, hearing about and doing. How do you feel about perspective? How do you build a connection to the world at large? I am always working on making mine bigger and would love more pointers!