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and embracing new ideas.

I have a pair of jeans I love to wear. They are the perfect pair of jeans for me. As most people do, I have several pairs of jeans. But these are my go-to jeans. They never let me down. Whatever the occasion, they make me feel comfortable. I think we all want to feel comfortable. It’s part of the human condition.

Sometimes, though, we buy jeans with the hope, “These will be perfect as soon as I break them in.” And they are. Because we gave them a chance. And even if they aren’t our ‘go-to jeans’, they still have a place in our closet.

Life is like that too. We crave comfort. We look for friends who are like-minded, so we don’t have to have uncomfortable conversations on topics we can’t agree. We seek a partner who finds us attractive, and makes us feel good about ourselves. We visit certain restaurants regularly because they serve food we enjoy, and the atmosphere is — comfortable.

When we are forced into situations that are not comfortable, we make comparisons. It’s at these times, I believe, when we become judgmental.

“That’s not how we do it back home.”

“This would taste better with less garlic. This chef doesn’t know what he’s doing.”

“I can’t wait to tell Mary and Bob what they were talking about tonight.”

“I can’t believe she said that. What an idiot!”

All of these statements place others on opposing sides. We don’t like to feel uncomfortable, so whenever we do, we compensate, and this divides us. But what we fail to realize is that the person we’re judging is comfortable being who they are. They want the same exact things we do. They just have a different definition of comfortable.

Is our way better? Is theirs? Is one right and the other wrong? When we realize that the jeans became comfortable after we wore them and washed them a few times, we might be more willing to embrace those things that make us uncomfortable — and maybe, just maybe, we can lean in to the process of being uncomfortable, because we need a couple of extra pairs of jeans in the closet.

Because face it — those comfy jeans are gonna rip someday. What are you going to do then?

Also published on Medium.

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