May 27

Reflection

To be frozen in position and refuse to open ourselves to other possibilities no matter what the situation or evidence may present is to choose intellectual and spiritual stagnation. Change and growth are essential to life. The vitality of the spiritual life is to be open, to have the ability to be receptive to new possibilities without prejudging them. Otherwise we are in danger of locking ourselves into narrow-mindedness and a paralyzing rigidity. Reflect on the Gospel stories. How many times do you see Jesus chastising others who are judgmental, rigid and lacking in openness to his message?

Prayer

Today if I hear God’s voice, may I not harden my heart.
Psalm 95

Action

How flexible am I? Do I usually think I already know all the answers? Am I open to other perspectives? How do I react to new ideas?

Suggested Readings


They who have ears to hear, let them hear!
Matthew 11:15 

Openness is a receptivity to everyone and everything. It is quite fundamentally an other-centeredness, a disposition of availability to others.
Wayne Teasdale

The open-minded see the truth in different things: the narrow-minded see only the differences.
Charles Kettering 

We are at times too ready to believe that the present is the only possible state of things.
Marcel Proust 

Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
George Bernard Shaw

Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.
Benjamin Franklin 

Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.
Isaac Asimov

One’s opinion should only be as strong as one’s knowledge on the matter.
Eric Hirzel 

Never stop learning and adapting. The world will always be changing.  If you limit yourself to what you knew and what you were comfortable with earlier in your life, you will grow increasingly frustrated with your surroundings as you age.
David Niven

Only an open mind still has room for new knowledge.  What is outgrown and used up must be discarded to make room for what is yet to be learned.  And much of the best thinking is done alone–in deserts, on beaches, in bed, behind closed doors.  It is why we say we need to get away–to escape from clutter and busyness–to hear ourselves think.
Robert Fulghum

 

 

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