We all live in a bubble to some degree – we have friends who are similar to us, family members who think the same way and a workplace which is probably fill with people from a possibly slightly more diverse, but often not dramatically diverse, sector of society.

Our world at the moment is one big hotbed of conflict and disagreement. This is a time of uncertainty and deep division. We are scared and when we are scared it’s easy to believe that other people are different to us to rationalise our fears. This isn’t so.

The idea that another group of people is either better, or worse, or different to you makes it easy to treat them badly. This thinking has been seen across the ages – in multiple world wars, in transatlantic slavery, in colonialism, in genocide.

The person who collects your rubbish bin thinks, feels, and desires similar things to you. So does the person across the globe. As humans, we have to unite because of our common humanity, rather than find reasons to kill or hurt or pull each other down.

The best way to grow as a person and to pull away some of the preconceived ideas you have about others is to break out of your bubble.

Our online world show us what we want to see

Don’t feel like the media which you consume is going to change your view and mindsets. Social media, in particular, is created so that what you want to read is given to you. All the social media platforms which you are a part of are re-enforcing your beliefs. They are made up of images and quotes from people exactly like you. They offer you no counter argument and they challenge none of your negative stereotypes.

We see nothing about global poverty unless we want to

Unless we actually go looking for information about the rest of the world we won’t learn. Issues such as global poverty, war, politics and economics are things that will not come up in your day-to-day life unless you create the opportunity for them to be there. Most of the topics which people discuss are related to things which affect their everyday lives and not the lives of others.

Be aware of your bubble

The best thing you can do to break your bubble is be aware of it. You do live in a bubble, now what are you going to do about it. How can you make some amendments to your life so that you have a healthier view of people different from yourself and so the ideas you hold precious are able to come up with some critique?

Take someone different to lunch

Just do it. Stop being so boring. Take someone who is totally, completing, inexplicably different to you to lunch. Do it for humanity. Do it because you want to break down barriers, do it because they are different, but really – they aren’t that different. Do it because you will learn a lot about them, and also a lot about you.

Read trustworthy news sources

I’m going to say this like it is: “you need to get off Facebook and read something which teaches you more about life and other people.” I don’t know what your favourite kind of media is – radio, online, or newspapers. Regardless, make sure that you are reading things which help to expand your mind. Facebook doesn’t do that. People magazine doesn’t do that. Your favourite television series doesn’t do that. Your gossiping friends and neighbour don’t do that.

Breaking the bubble means living a life which is less self-focused. It means taking the time to get to know other people. It means letting go of things which your parents have told you and even your friends. It means sometimes standing up in front of people to defend others because they are pulling them down when they don’t have to be. The second greatest commandment in the Bible is to “love others as you love yourself.” Have a think about that and consider what it means, for you, in your everyday life.