One of the benefits in practicing mindfulness is becoming nonjudgmental, to be able to see what may not be on the surface, and then to see with new eyes.
Recently, I met a friend for early morning coffee and conversation. We began discussing the impact of the internet on our relationships, workplace, and social behavior.
He poised a question: “How do you see the internet? Do you see it as a tool to be used or something else?”
I responded that I clearly see it as a tool to do my work, communicate with family, etc. He ask me if it is fundamental to my life existence. No, what is fundamental to my existence is that I live in community – my spiritual community and my family community. Now, could it be that others, especially millennials, see the internet not as a tool but would say, “I live IN the internet. It is fundamental to my existence. It is my community.”
Immediately, I found myself wanting to judge that notion, to criticize it, to devalue it. Living IN the internet does not create community, well as I see it. But here’s the catch. What I may see as something negative, others see as adding value to their lives and workplaces. But doesn’t one position have to be right?
I then found myself saying internally, “Be open to other possibilities, Kevin. Listen with your heart, not with your head and ego.” I felt my mind expand to create space, to see this in a different perspective than my own, to seriously consider what that means, “I live IN the internet.” I realized I had never thought of it in that way. And, I can see how that would make sense and be the reality for others.
Our conversation then went deeper to explore what that means to “Live IN the internet,” and how does living like this impact one’s workplace, values, and connections with people. We were exploring to deeply understand, ask questions, and to ponder the changes this is bringing to our world. There was no judgment and we were not trying to determine what is right or wrong.
Mindfulness brings about seeing and understanding our world non-judgmentally, which frees us from the distractions of either/or, right and wrong.