Bubbles

My fibro. was kind enough to flare, so I’ve had lots of down time lately. I’ve spent most of it reading and researching a variety of topics. Every time I feel some sense of pleasure in acquiring new knowledge, I also sense just how little I really know. There was a time when I was content to ignore anything that didn’t fit into my narrow worldview. I was taught that a great many things were evil, and those evil things were to be avoided. Always. You know, evil things like rock music, tight clothes, dancing, movie theaters, lots of makeup, kissing boys, etc. I attended the school run by my church, so I got a heaping dose of the church’s teachings six days of the week. Then I worked at a Christian camp for two consecutive summers. I was around plenty of people far more “liberal” than what I was accustomed to, and wasn’t sure if I should pray for them or embrace the less rigid mindset (this is all hilarious now). I was raised to believe that any non-King-James Bible contained some sort of heretical changes and was bad. Suddenly, I knew people who read other versions of the Bible, and they didn’t seem like heretics. Then I went off to Bible college, where I was surrounded by a variety of opinions and personalities. I still had to have all of my pants approved, to make sure they weren’t too tight, lest I cause one of my brothers to stumble and start lusting. Rock music was still preached against, and I couldn’t be alone with a guy unless I had special standing, permission, privileges, etc. Many things I once held as hard and fast beliefs began to change. Teachers asked questions, I did research for papers, and I saw that there was a much bigger world than I’d ever been allowed to see before.

Basically, my life can be summed up as living within several sets of bubbles. By bubble, I mean a controlled atmosphere that was meant to keep people “safe” from the outside world. Anything deemed harmful was censored, and we were required to live within acceptable guidelines or be kicked out/punished. Exploring other options was not encouraged. Circular reasoning  and legalism are a natural result of living in a bubble. If all you need/know is around you, then you start comparing yourself to those around you rather than remembering that there is a HUGE world out there full of people and ideas. Bubbles quickly become stale and even poisonous for lack of fresh “oxygen.” Intelligent people who normally have lots of common sense may find themselves in odd positions after living in a bubble. Why? The pressure from those around them,  the herd mentality, and the lack of outside (fresh) influence makes it easy to go down paths you might otherwise eschew.
Having left the bubbles behind, I now wholly embrace freedom of thought, personal independence, and access to any and all information. Stale air chokes and eventually kills those who breathe it – that’s a fact. Get out of the bubble.

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