Making the claim: Open minded?  

SlimGoodGuy 38M
154 posts
3/22/2006 10:33 am
Making the claim: Open minded?

It has come to my attention that being open minded is a very common trait many claim to have, but few actually exhibit. I feel our concept of being open minded is an interpretation of our niche/clique coping abilities. Being open-minded, to these folks, means you must also agree with them. I have come to the conclusion that none of us can really be completely open minded. None of us even come close to being as open minded as we claim to be. We all have our limits because we all have some kind of belief system that we live by, rules that most of which we are not willing to break, let alone bend. We all have our limits and there is nothing wrong with that. But I don't know how many times I come across an "open minded" post discovering that they themselves are telling people what to do or how to act instead of accepting who people are and recognizing the good things in light of his or her choices as well as your own. However, there's nothing wrong with suggesting a change. There is a better way to phrase it than in a parental manner. I'm also not suggesting we abandon individual thought and dissenting opinions.

So here's what it all comes down to. Calling ourselves open minded is just another way to feed the ego. It's almost like our ego plays both sides. It gives us that sense of empowerment when we understand our own rules and opinions, but at the same time convinces our brain that our rules and opinions leave room for everyone else.

Some might say being open minded is a completely passive behavior and rolling over for every little thing will destroy us. They say it's perfectly fine to form an opinion and stand up. Apparently being open minded is a way of seeking approval of others. Well I have the sense to realize people also form opinions based on the influences of the people around them in a search for acceptance. What could be more submissive than that?

I have read this post a few times to make sure I got down what I wanted to say, but I think this will be another work in progress. Maybe I am off my rocker at the moment and something will hit me smack on the forehead. For now, I would prefer to offer some humility and say I consider myself a good person, but by no means am I open minded. I have to admit I am wrong about a lot of things to avoid some kind of hypocrisy. At some point, I will pass judgement. You have my apologies.

Quite possibly the word you are looking for is PRUDENT. I would prefer prudence over being open minded in the usual sense of the term. Open-mindedness should mean you have the ability and are willing to examine ideas and issues without prejudice in order to form an opinion, or to re-examine your opinion in light of new evidence. I don't think people understand it that way. Open-mindedness does not simply mean non-judgemental. There's a lot more to it than that. In essence, this is the point I'm trying to make. Read it again if it remains unclear to you. The epiphany that I have had while typing this involves understanding the mere definition. If you're going to use a word, understand what it means first to make sure you're using it correctly. The term "open minded" is so overused now that we assume we understand it.

That old adage of keeping it simple sure came through in the end on this one eh? To you, it may be a moot point and by now, I have bored you to death, but I guarantee that if this bores you, you simply haven't put enough thought into it. I like choosing my words wisely. Maybe that just isn't your style? Okay, I'm distracting from the issue at hand. Have a good day.

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