Opinion: Preconceptions are stopping us from being happy

Bruno Beidacki is a sophomore journalism major. Contact him at [email protected]

Bruno Beidacki

I remember the first time someone mentioned meditation to me. I was about five or six, and the idea of sitting in complete silence and thinking about nothing seemed meaningless at the time. You can’t blame me. I didn’t truly understand the concept of meditating and its benefits. It wasn’t until late last year when I decided to put my preconceptions behind and give it a try. Now I meditate every single day.

Since meditating has become a part of my life, I have been happier, more satisfied and more motivated than I have ever been. The reason? I decided preconceptions should not stop me from enjoying the little things in life. And if all of us do the same, we will live in a more peaceful, joyful society.

Meditating is just a simple example. Preconceptions can stop you from meeting the love your life, discovering your true passion and living a successful life. The problem is that we stereotype and judge so much that we do not even realize what we are doing.

On a daily basis, I meet with students at the Peer Involvement Advising Office in hopes of guiding them to larger involvement on campus. Most of them come to me wishing they were part of (more) student organizations, but just can’t seem to find where they fit. I heard from some of those, however, who say joining club X or Y is not an option because “people are weird” or “I don’t want to be judged.”

We have gotten to a point where people do not want to follow their passions and do what makes them happy for fear of rejection or being treated differently. And that is stopping all of us from living the life we want to live. The way to solve this is to ignore preconceptions and, step by step, change your mindset

Start with little things. Go to a Pokemon club meeting if you are interested and do not worry about what others will think. If you were raised in a family that saw diversity as a taboo, befriend an international student. Talk to people with different interests and opinions. After that it will be easier to make major changes and becoming a prejudice-free person.

It may sound utopian, naive and unrealistic, but I truly believe Kent State can be a community where everyone feels like they fit in. This can be a university where people feel encouraged to be who they are and where all its students are happy.

For that to happen, change is needed. And the only way to change the mindset of an entire community is for each of us to change our own. Think and reflect about it. When you are ready to live a happier life, find a quiet space, sit down and try not to think about anything. Just breathe. Do that for as little as five minutes a day and now you can say you meditate, too. Not weird, right? Getting past your preconceptions is easier than you think.

Bruno Beidacki is an opinion author for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].