Spring Is a Great Time to Open Your Mind

  • Posted on: 16 April 2021
  • By: Leonard Shostak

As I write what was supposed to be my article for April, I'm thinking that this should have come out three weeks ago and I need to get out of "Covid time." So I decided to look into the origins and history of the month. The English word April is rooted in the Latin aprilis, from the Latin word, aperire, which means to open. April's the month of growing, when trees begin to flower and flowers begin to bloom. Some people say it was also named after the Greek goddess Aphrodite, the goddess of love, which is great too. Things are opening our hearts and opening our minds. We're opening our eyes, and we're opening them with the intention of love and compassion.

This brings me to what my clients asked me to work with them on in April: being open to things that they would typically be closed off from, whether it's an activity, an action, a group of people, or whatever it might be. As I work with my clients I ask questions. What do you think you have closed your mind to? What opinion from when you were little have you held onto and never changed, even though the world has changed a lot—maybe even the thing your opinion is about has changed greatly. People give a lot of different answers. What stands out to me the most in their answers is how often they are surprised about other people: "I didn't expect those people to be so nice... Those people aren't the way I was told when I was growing up... That's not the way the people like that act on TV." I take solace in thinking about that. And then I think about what their exposure was to people growing up. This is something that I work with a lot of people on becoming more open to people of a different color, race, creed, religion, sexual preference - it doesn't matter what it is. It can be just to learn to like something new that you've never seen before.

So I ask you to take a pause. I hope that your takeaway will be to approach everyone in front of you with an open mind, and then make the judgment based on the reality, not on what someone told you to believe. As the flowers grow and bloom and open up, we should be opening our eyes, opening our minds, not casting judgment on those in front of us, not having a preconceived notion of how somebody is going to act. Let them act the way they're going to act to us and see how it is. Yeah, it might be bad once in a while, but most of the time it's going to be amazing!

I'd love to know your thoughts, so feel free to email fun@hardybrooklyn.nyc.