An Open Mind

Published May 7, 2018

There are plenty more people who claim they are open-minded than really are open-minded. Hear me out! (First, the definition of open-minded: willing to consider new ideas.)

Following:

As a Twitter user, I follow a lot of people from both sides of a given opposition. For example, democrats and republicans, or Muslims and Christians. If I followed only people from one side, then I probably couldn’t claim I am open-minded. In particular, I like to follow different mindsets when it comes to a topic that is taboo for many, religion. If you follow both theists and atheists, you tend to witness many debates, discussions, and arguments. More often than not, these discourses end up in name-calling or insults. And all too often the sarcasm that accompanies the insults happens entirely too quickly. These are definitely examples of not being open-minded, but many times it is from people who claim they are open-minded. Observe the next discussion you witness to see how open-minded the participants are or are not, most likely are not.

Reading:

During these discourses, I will see a lot of people reference books that they mention their opponent would benefit from reading. I was once on the theist side of these debates, and, being open-minded, I started to read the books suggested to me, whether I had interest in them or not. This is another area where I believe the majority of people who claim they are open-minded really are not. They will not read books that don’t interest them. This, in addition to insults and sarcasm, usually ends debates, discussions, or arguments with neither side willing to consider new ideas.

Change:

All too often, whether the discussion is between a theist and an atheist, a face-off of a democrat and a republican, or an encounter of races, say black versus white, change is never possible because of closed minds. If we believe strongly in our own opinion, there is nothing wrong with that. But being closed to the blatantly obvious fact that other people think differently, on all sorts of topics, is certainly far from being open-minded.

Macro-scale:

For example, when it comes to religion, you are a minority regardless what you believe. Christians account for roughly 30% of the world. This is the highest percentage of any religion, including those not religious. But that means that 7 out of 10 people aren’t Christian. 3 out of 10 is a minority. In America, democrats and republicans are two different parties for a reason, and it’s a well-known fact that the votes are not all for one party.

So the next time you claim open-minded, if you claim that, think about whether you’re really open-minded.