I live in a bubble. I guess I always have to some degree. I grew up in a loving Catholic family bubble and have been trying to create and maintain my own loving Catholic family bubble ever since. So far, I think we’re doing pretty well.
Bubbles are great for lots of reasons. They’re safe, comforting, and stable. In your bubble, you can surround yourself with people who share your views and beliefs. You can deepen your understanding of those beliefs and strengthen your ethics by surrounding yourself with people you admire. Think of it as a hothouse for growing young tender plants. A bubble is a great place to grow in your faith or in your view of the world especially when you’re beginning to form your ideas and beliefs. It has all the conditions needed to spur growth.
But, there’s a problem with living in a bubble. The problem isn’t what’s inside them. No, the problem is what’s NOT inside. I know very few individuals whose bubbles include people with drastically different views than their own; myself included. That would make me uncomfortable and unsure of myself, wouldn’t it? Perhaps. But what I’ve noticed lately is that when my beliefs are challenged it prompts me to look deeper into the reasons for my belief. It inspires me to learn more and ask more questions which is always good. In the end, my beliefs become stronger and more honed because of it. In gardener speak, leaving my bubble is like “hardening” a young plant before moving it into the garden for good. Exposing my ideas to challenge a little at a time helps me to harden my resolve or to rethink my position. Either way, I come out of it stronger.
So, I guess there’s a time to stay in your bubble and a time to venture outside of it. Now that our election season has ended, I certainly hope that our newly elected officials can venture out of their bubbles to truly listen to other officials as well as to their constituents. It can only make our country stronger.