1. Be willing to accept and integrate new information into your world view.

One of my earliest memories dates to an indefinite age pre-schooling. I grew up in a multi-generational, bilingual household. My great-grandmother who lived with me spoke only Spanish, as did all of my grandparents. My parents spoke both English and Spanish. All of my cousins spoke English. I logically deduced, then, that language skills were binary. You started with English, and the older you got, the more you moved into Spanish, until eventually it was the only language you spoke.

I believed this until the day I met my cousins’ Abuela Margie, who was well into her 70s and was still bilingual. I informed her that she was too old to still speak both. She laughed before explaining that language wasn’t something you just lose--and I had to change my concept of internal language binary.  This is a juvenile example, but I think it applies to life in general. Don’t hold on to your beliefs so tightly that you can’t let them go when you receive a new perspective.

You could even look at my celebration of Lunar New Year as an application of this concept. I did not grow up in a culture where the holiday was celebrated but since I’ve learned more about the celestial movements and what they means to the cultures I’ve lived in, I feel I’ve been introduced to such a lovely and previously unknown perspective of the world. New information can be about cultures, and mythology, and politics, and love, and friendship, and family, and language, and knowledge. Embrace constructive discussion. 

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