We’ve all heard it before, someone telling us to keep an open mind about something.
Often it’s the preceding statement to a difficult to grasp a concept or an idea which is teaming with cognitive dissonance. In this age where information is so readily available and media is difficult to trust, it’s becoming more and more important to keep an open mind in many aspects of life, and not just to take things for granted. That is to say that, in this age of information, it’s important to know how to do your own research and reach your own conclusions while observing various possibilities. I don’t just mean open-mindedness in a political or religious capacity, but, in all walks of life; each path we take is typically defined by our own understanding of a concept or notion, and the forks in our road are often directed by these understandings, so it seems of utmost importance to me that we are correct in our beliefs and that our ideals are our own.
So often, far more than most people fathom, are our ideals implanted by other parties. In this world, the wise all know that not a single person truly knows what they are doing and that we are all just trying to get by and survive as we go. Each day all facets of existence expand, scientists discover new things, coffee is decided to be bad for us, or vice versa. So, it’s nigh impossible to know that your beliefs are correct, or that your path that you are set on is proper. However, with an open mind, we, at least, stand a chance of considering sufficient variables to maintain a high level of confidence in our perspective and allow ourselves more capability of moving down the appropriate path for us. For, as we know, there is little more frightening than finding yourself trapped in a circumstance which you walked into only to find that it has become too dark, and is now difficult to find your way back.
So, when next someone invites you to keep an open mind, do take them seriously and consider their position before shunning their ensuing statement or perspective. It is likely that they entered the conversation this way because they know your stance on the topic which they want to discuss and may have new information to offer you. As well as in conversation, as you go about life and learn new things from TV, newspapers, articles, the internet, teachers, or friends, do keep an open mind; don’t take what you hear as gospel truth, but listen intending to find the facts for yourself. Remember, though, it’s very important to validate credibility in looking for facts…
Being able to keep an open mind and hear out people’s perspectives will help in many ways, not just in growing yourself and building your own confidence and faith. If a person approaches you with a difficult to discuss a topic and you’re willing to hear them out, constructively, and offer a structured perspective or counter-argument, it is guaranteed that their respect for you will grow. For instance, I recently asked a pastor what his perspective on energy perception and some of this “new age mumbo jumbo” was, and even though he is obviously a man of God, he never once told me I was wrong and used phrases like, “I hadn’t ever considered that maybe it’s something I should look into.” Imagine how much more respect I had for him after this debate, having expected a strong and blind argument against what I know to be true.