We live in a society where instead of acknowledging our flaws, we get angry and lash out at anyone who attempts to expose them. Instead of trying to understand our internal issues and how they affect others, we dismiss our despicable actions and refuse to grow. Sadly, most people in our society have the five awful flaws that inhibit personal growth. Hopefully, we can be open-minded and try learning from our mishaps instead of denying them.
1. We refuse to listen
The refusal to listen is a flaw that most people have. Think of the number of times we’re engaging in a conversation with someone, and we’re too busy thinking about what we want to say next. As opposed to actually listening to what the other person is saying, we’re either waiting to “up” their story, or we’re waiting to disprove their theory. We don’t actually listen to what the other person is saying, we just want to make sure that they hear us. We can’t learn about ourselves or grow into insightful human beings if we refuse to even hear the other person. It may be a revelation to some, but the world doesn’t revolve around individual beings. There is so much that we can learn from someone who walked the other side of the tracks, but we can’t if our ears don’t hear them speaking.
2. We must be right
It’s more important for us to be right than it is to grow as individual human beings. It’s more important that our views are accepted by everyone as opposed to acknowledging the fact that someone else has an idea that could be influential. In reality, it doesn’t matter if someone says something that opposes our unwavering views because we won’t listen to them anyways. I’m still not sure why we believe we must be right all the time. Not everyone is an astronomer or an accountant because not everyone can specialize in those skills. We are meant to learn from other human beings, but we’re too high on our “knowledge” horses to consider another person’s words as wisdom. We could learn so much if we just accepted the fact that we as individual human beings are not meant to know everything. We’re not Gods; we’re people who make mistakes. We must work together to find a solution, not stay in the mindset that we’re right all the time.
3. We don’t think for ourselves
Liberals claim to be the most open-minded people, yet they’re greatly opposed to any view that isn’t liberal. The same goes for conservatives. We think in terms of what our side believes is right, and that’s it. If it isn’t a strictly liberal or conservative view, then it must be dismissed. Dismissing views that aren’t in our political scope is not how we think for ourselves. Dismissing views is picking a side and sticking to it because it’s what our side tells us to do. Explains the issues with Congress if you ask me. But the point is that when we neglect any point that doesn’t originate from our side, we dismiss the view as ignorance and stupidity. And we do so without ever hearing what the point is. We can pretend that we think for ourselves, but if we refuse to look at the world and create our opinions about it, then our beliefs aren’t our own. We need to step away from a strictly liberal or conservative view and start constructing our own opinions based on what we see and hear with our own eyes and ears. We should start finding solutions instead of defending our own opinions that we didn’t create ourselves.
4. We’re judgmental
We’re the most judgmental people on this planet. One thing that upsets me the most is how the North views the South. I’m from the North, and most Northerners say that the South is full of people who are fat, lazy, stupid, and poor. Shockingly, these Northerners are “liberals who care about people” but hate the south without ever experiencing it. Then think of how we judge celebrities. Remember when everyone wanted to deport Justin Bieber because he was acting like a kid who had too much money? Not a reason to deport someone. If you were twenty and had millions of dollars, you would most likely have done the same things. We can’t ever become mature adults if we judge people without ever considering what life is like on their side of the fence. We shouldn’t judge people because they are outcasts or because they have a different stance on life. Instead, we should try and learn why and how they are the way they are. We can learn much about ourselves during this process.
5. We’re too competitive
Look at Facebook. Everyone is trying to make their lives look better than everyone else. Everyone wants to flaunt their engagement, or their trip to the store or update everyone on their daily activities. Or, we just flat out say “I’m awesome and better than all of you because I landed my dream job.” We are constantly seeking approval from the masses. We need the world to know that our lives are better than theirs and that our lives are going somewhere. If we need to flaunt these facts on Facebook, then we’re competitive. There is no need to tell the world “how good we’re doing.” If we were actually doing that good, we probably wouldn’t have the time to update Facebook constantly with those facts. Living life in competition is a great way to stunt personal development. Instead of trying to be the best people that we can be for ourselves and those around us, we would rather fight for the status of the top dog. Well, that top dog changes all the time, so it’s much easier to live for yourself than it is to live for the masses. We should be competitive with ourselves, not others. We should be the best version we can be to make the world a better place, not for the recognition and praise from Facebook friends we haven’t seen in ten years.
As you can see, we all have these flaws. But maybe one day we will be able to listen to others the way we listen to ourselves. Maybe one day the desire to learn and grow will outweigh the desire to be right. Maybe one day we will make our opinions based on what we see and feel as opposed to basing our opinions on what our side wants us to think. Maybe one day we will stop judging people we don’t know. And maybe, one day, we will take pride in learning from one another instead of fighting to be better than each other. At least, I hope.