Sunday, September 20, 2009

Warning: Opening your mind may cause death

What does it mean to be open-minded? I hear it all the time. “You disagree with me because you aren’t being open-minded”.

So being open-minded means never disagreeing with anyone? I thought that was called a pushover. And anyway, you can’t agree with everyone, because you would be contradicting yourself somewhere.

No, being open-minded is not agreeing with someone who accuses you of being close-minded.

I think being open-minded is just that, opening your mind. However, we aren’t opening our mind for the sake of opening it. We are opening it to find the truth. That is what we seek, everyday, in every part of our life. Education teaches us truth, or processes to find it and analyze it. Newspapers are supposed to spread truth to the people. Detectives figure out the truth by looking at clues and examining evidence. We react negatively when someone lies to us, or we find out that something we thought was true really isn’t (aka scandals).We are on a constant search for truth. I feel, at least in part, we all are open-minded. Being open-minded is the only way to find truth.

But when someone accuses someone of being close-minded, what is that person really saying? They are saying that the person is not listening or understanding what that person regards as truth. Disagreeing with someone does not make that person close-minded.

As an open-minded person, one should be willing to listen and try to understand where the person or view is coming from. This does not mean you have to end up agreeing with it. And anyway, if you are comfortable enough with your beliefs and really understand why you believe somethings, hearing opposing views shouldn’t worry you. They should, in fact, strengthen why you believe what you do.

I'm tired of hearing people (in very high political positions) talk about how people need to be open minded because he wants people to agree with him. I think those who want others to be open-minded should practice doing just that themselves.


  1. Well, one can't be fully open-minded if one is close-minded to close-mindedness. Therefore to be fully open-minded one must be open-minded to close-mindedness. Since most people who accuse others of being close-minded are themselves highly close-minded, then perhaps they are truly open-minded in this sense.

  2. ha, i knew you would say something like this. one can't be truly open-minded if they are close-minded to everything. but i do see your point. open-minded would include staying open-minded to being closed-minded. haha!

  3. I like this blogpost title. hahaha