Feed your mind

Finding, and holding onto, online information that will help you grow

If you are like me and like to read articles online, you will also feel overwhelmed by all the information we are bombarded with on a daily basis. You might wonder what is truly useful to focus on, and when skip those that are a waste of your time. Time is valuable and your time is invaluable to you, so you should always choose to spend it where you can gain the most benefit from the effort.
Over the years I have reduced the number of blogs I follow to about three and still find it too much sometimes. But when an article does pop into my inbox that is worth my time, I will not only read it but will also save the link, the date I found the post and makes a short summary of the content of this post. Since this information is purely for my education, enlightenment or personal growth, I often copy the words of the author into my file. These words are not mine so they will not be shared in any public forum. I do that because sometimes the authors just write it better than I can. Other times I write what I have learnt instead of just summarising the content.
I will share some of the links to those posts here from time to time, but I do recommend that you find your own "useful bloggers" list. We only retain information when we learn something and write it down in some way. If we don't, whatever we read on a daily basis becomes part of the white noise that streams through our brains, barely acknowledged and quickly forgotten.
Here is my top three of the past week - without my notes. Why no notes? Because you might learn something different to help you grow in your life. Happy reading!

How Medium peeled a layer of ignorance from me today

© Nejron - ID 6277192 | Dreamstime Stock Photos

While I have posted an article or two on Medium, I find that I enjoy reading other people's contributions so much that I spent little time contributing to the site. Today I received the usual email with a list of articles that are recommended by Medium's staff or by people I follow.
One of the articles was from someone about life's choices and lessons.
It was an unusual topic to find it's way to my list of recommended reading, but since I am friends on Facebook with the person who recommended it, I decided to read it anyway. The article was about non-monogamy. The article, while an interesting read, had little impact on me from a personal, relationship perspective. However, the author used gender references that I didn't understand and had to read more about. Most of the time I blame my ignorance on the language since English is not my native language, but it was not the case here.
What was an eye-opener for me, was the extent of social prejudices people suffer because of gender identification. The new term I learnt today was gender dysphoria. I even learnt that my own gender identification has a name, and at 48 years of age, I didn't know that. Cisgender. It sounds weird, but that is as much of a weirdness to me as some of the technical terminologies I deal with might be to non-engineers I suppose.
What triggered my desire to read (aside from the article on Medium) more on the subject, was a true lack of understanding I have of some of the struggles of my fellow human beings.
I pride myself on being open-minded enough not to judge people by whatever definition they have for themselves. As a life coach in training, it is expected from me to be understanding, open-minded and non-judgmental when working with a client.
Born and raised in South Africa, racial prejudice has always been something that I was familiar with. Not agreed with, but it still is a reality for many people living in this country. What I learnt today was that my ignorance could also be a barrier to understanding another group of people that could potentially be my future clients.
I don't find it difficult to accept that I might be wrong about something, I am far from perfect. What I do find difficult to accept is that my worldview, as imperfect as it is, can be so small and ignorant about the issues that people struggle with.
In my sci-fi series, The 3rd Gender, I explored some issues around a third gender. Although in the world of my stories genetic engineering was the culprit for a lot of unhappiness. Today I learnt that the world as it now is more complicated and filled with pain than the world I created in my books.
Reading about gender dysphoria and the relationship issues that are an inherent part of our lives (irrespective of gender identity) was a true learning experience for me today.
A lesson I hope that will help me be a good life coach, but more importantly, make me a better and more understanding human being.

References consulted:

The Technical Construction File for South African exporters

The Technical Construction File consists of several items with the primary aim to provide proof of compliance to the relevant requirement...