Children, we perceive some people as “good.” We brand others “worthless.” After a while, we change our mind. Those we called “good” before, we now call “bad,” and vice-versa.
Avoid preconceptions, understand world
Thus, our opinions and perspectives are in a constant state of fluctuation. Why? The main reason is our lack of proper knowledge. It has become our habit to view everything through our preconceived notions.
This world and the objects and individuals in it are undergoing constant change. The individual we saw yesterday is different from the individual we see today. A tailor always takes fresh measurement, even for regular customers.
He never thinks, “Oh, I took this person’s measurement the last time he was here. There’s no need to do it again.” He knows that the dimensions of the customer’s body, as well as his likes and dislikes, are subject to change. We should have a similar attitude when we interact with others.
A person’s behaviour and his attitude towards us may change at any moment. Today’s foe could easily become tomorrow’s friend. Today’s friend could also become tomorrow’s foe. We should always be able to see others with an open mind, without preconceived notions.
Some people think acting with preconceived notions can eliminate future difficulties. However, in reality, what is required for that is not preconceptions, but attention. Preconception is negative; attention is positive. When we act with preconceptions, the opportunity to learn new things is lost. But when we work with attention, many new ideas and perspectives will be revealed.
In fact, preconceptions often form when we project our own likes and dislikes upon others. This doesn’t help us to see the truth but, rather, blinds us. Preconceptions force us to view the world through their tinted lens. Depending on the colour of the filter, we begin to think of the world as “blue,” “black” or “green,” etc.
Viewing everything in this manner, it becomes impossible to gain real insight into the nature of the world. We should be able to understand and evaluate the world, our circumstances, our experiences and ourselves with attention and maturity, without any preconceived notions. Only through spirituality can this be achieved.
Mata Amritanandamayi Devi