Beginner’s Mind



I think I have some good ideas about what a better world would look like and what needs to be done to get there, but if I start thinking that my way is the best way, or even the only way, then i’m going to edit out other ideas and answers, thinking, falsely, that I know what i’m doing. But that would be a crazy thing to think.

First of all, changing the world is no walk in the park… I don’t think any one person can have all those answers. Secondly, how could I know all the answers? I only live this one life, and i’m not exactly travelled or cultured. I think my ideas are good within certain contexts, but there are countless other contexts and problems that I can’t even begin to fathom, let alone solve.

For example, I think non-violent forms of action like civil disobedience are good tools for effecting change in the West, but that’s okay for me because my government isn’t going to steal me away in the night and torture and / or execute me… well, at least, not right now. So, how could I in good conscience encourage people in, say, North Korea to peacefully revolt against their government knowing that they’ll most likely be butchered?

With a beginners mind there might not be an answer, but at least it is open to an answer, not shut off in the false belief that it knows everything it needs to know. History is riddled with ‘experts’ who went on to be proven desperately wrong, and that is okay. There is no shame in being wrong, but we should at least be willing and open to new ideas. If I want to change the world to any degree whatsoever then I need to be open to all views and ideas and insights… including my opposition.