So, what could possibly make being open-minded hard?
First, we need to understand what makes an open-minded person:
- Someone who puts effort into understanding someone else’s standpoints, beliefs, lifestyle, etc.
- Someone who may judge (nothing wrong with that), but is willing to change their mind about/question things.
- In a conversation, this person will not close their ears to or automatically dismiss what the other person has to say while spouting out their own beliefs, expecting the other person to turn to their side (hypocrisy at its finest).
- Someone who wants to challenge their mind—Being open-minded doesn’t means that you’re comfortable with or agree with everything, it just means that you can consider the other person’s point-of-view.
Perhaps all of the above is just too difficult for some people to do. Staying close-minded means that their perspective will never change, so I guess they won’t have to do too much extra thinking. Then there are the people who are simply stubborn, stuck in this never-ending state of ignorance. They don’t like change so they won’t try to understand anything new; it’s immediately shunned in their minds.
Even worst, many close-minded people can also be quite insulting when they state their beliefs. For instance, there is (and probably always will be) a lot of controversy about gay marriage for various reasons. And that’s completely okay; everyone doesn’t have to agree with it. BUT, when I hear gay people described as “vile” or “disgusting” and that they’ll “burn in hell,” it makes me absolutely sick. Isn’t it enough to just say that you don’t agree with a relationship between people of the same sex? Why is the name-calling necessary?
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate a person who can respectfully state their opinions and hold an intelligent conversation about them. It doesn’t matter how off the wall their beliefs are either, as long as they’re not yelling out insults.
So, to those open-minded people out there, thank you for being the way you are and seeing things from a perspective other than your own.
Previously published on past blog: January 27, 2012