Right from the day we are born, until the day we die, we keep learning, adopting, and adapting various values throughout years. From our parents, to our teachers, from grandparents, to our friends, our whole life is made up of values and lessons we learn from the people that surround us. We apply these values throughout our lives and they end up defining who are we are as people.
Now, while we’re too busy learning and adapting, we forget to apply reason at times, to things that we learn. As children, if we’re told to hide a broken tooth under the pillow, because the tooth fairy will leave us a present, we do it! Why? Because we believe things told to us by our elders. It all starts with a parent telling a child to sleep, because if he/she doesn’t, the boogeyman will show up; or if the child doesn’t eat all their vegetables, their teeth will fall off the next day. Little ideas like these may not seem to do much harm then, but if a child is exposed to such ideologies for extended periods of time, they could end up developing a fear of certain things. For example, the boogeyman idea could lead to the child developing a fear of the darkness, and he/she just might end up carrying that fear throughout their adult life.
Contamination can be as old as something we learned from the age of five, and have kept reinforcing throughout the course of our lives.
The adaptation of such subconscious ideas is known as contamination, and all of us live with some form of this contamination. Whether it has to do with the discrimination between men and women, or the idea that only the opinions of people older than you should be respected; all these values can in a way, be termed as contamination.
As modern adults, we cannot live life carrying these trinkets of contamination in our subconscious because they tend to dominate our decisions. It is crucial to cleanse ourselves from these ideas that may be holding us back from performing to our best capabilities. While these contaminating ideas could be rooted deep in a part of our brain that we may not be able to fully understand, there are ways to cleanse ourselves from these ideas.
Contamination is like a morsel that is not chewed but swallowed. When you chew a morsel, you can taste every flavor in it, make the most of the morsel you put in your mouth; but when you swallow the same morsel, it just feels like a forced action to fulfill the purpose of eating. Any decision you take, should be justifiable; you should be able to apply reason to it and question the logic behind it.
A few ways that you can look at cleansing yourself from the epidemic of contamination are as follows:
1) Become more self aware
Self-awareness can do wonderful things for the human mind. When a person works on auto-pilot, things often become monotonous in life and you lose identity of yourself; but applying self-awareness helps individuals to understand and adapt to their surroundings better.
2) There is no such thing as bad questions
The human mind is a curious organ, and at times, this curiosity gets lost amongst following values and traditions in life. It is not at all wrong to question the values being instilled in you, because these questions will lead to answers that get you clarity and logic behind the values you are supposed to nurture and apply throughout your life.
In order to begin successful cleansing of contamination of misguided assumptions or beliefs, that has accumulated over the years, one must be aware of the fact that the contamination exists only when its not challenged.
3) Apply yourself to every learning
Take a minute to sit down, write down, and think about the values instilled in you. Use an open mind to evaluate whether what you have learned is genuinely worth instilling in your day-to-day life, or if it is a value that you can expel from your life for the benefit of yourself and others.
4) Is this worth passing on?
Every individual eventually grows up to mentor at least one person in their life, whether that be a child or a lesser experienced colleague; you get a moment in life when you need to pass on your learnings to someone else. At a time like this, make sure to think about the values you are passing on unconsciously and evaluate whether the value or learning is worth passing on.
5) Make the most out of the best
Continue the learning process, by integrating new and worthy values from your surroundings and people. Pick out the best values in the people around you and stick with those, for those are the values that will take you places.
We live in a world of modern times, and this world strongly believes in the concept of equality. If we let contamination cloud our judgement, it leads to impracticality. This is why it is not only crucial to cleanse one’s mind of ideas that may stop them from growing, but also cultivate yourself into a person that lives and leads a life in alignment with the current affairs.
Wouldn’t you want to live in a rational world, over a world that follows a path blindly?
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