On Being Open-Minded

One of the reasons some people move along in life faster than others is because they are open-minded. They are willing to consider new information. Two people could be best of friends and one of them would experience some sort of growth because she allowed herself to experience something new from what the other turned away because she cannot relate to something different than what she had always known.

People tend to be close-minded because they are conceited and satisfied with what they know. Their satisfaction with their preconceived notions about things makes them build walls against sources of new information. These sets of people are not ready to learn anything more than what they already know. Their minds are like stuffed rooms with no fresh air.

When you consider that you do not know it all and that the world has new information almost every day, you will be ready to learn to help you correct or strengthen what you already know.

Being open-minded means allowing yourself to consider new information and experiences without preconceived notions and without the tendency to filter information through the personality of the other person or the strangeness of the environment where the experience is had.

Ideologies, religion, political affiliation, and career sectors have divided people into groups all with their compact, unalterable body of facts, knowledge, and beliefs which they protect with all their lives. These are pillars on which the group stands and to which those in them identify. Because there is separateness from the other, they do not like to entertain, talk less accommodate, the views of the other.

A close-minded attitude shows up more often when two people or groups are way off each other as a result of one having a better understanding, or completely opposing views, on a subject from the other. Though one or both of them can learn from the other, the close-mindedness cannot make that happen. Usually, it is the less informed who is close-minded. When an intelligent and exposed individual become close-minded it is always a reactive expression to shun the ideas of another from entering and disorganising the structures of his ideas.

Close-minded people lack love and some humanity. Their pride makes them see themselves as better than every other person and so they are not ready to give the other person a sincere listening ear. They are arrogant. To them, the other person doesn’t look too good, doesn’t have their experience or qualification, and maybe the other is way younger or too old to be listened to. Or, an environment doesn’t befit them to inspire an experience there.

Close-minded people lack curiosity and so remain just where they are. The desire to remain comforted in their zones makes close-minded people not welcome new ideas or a call to adventure. They don’t want to disrupt their comfort. They are fine the way they are and will not tolerate anyone who tries to upset that.

Close-minded people don’t grow beyond what they know or think they know. Organizations stagnate because managers don’t open up to new information. It is the same with relationships where one of the partners is not willing to reconsider their absolutes.

Life is more interesting to the open-minded. The growth that comes from learning something new, correcting old facts and perceptions, and seeing the world in new light, empower people to make informed decisions about taking their lives to new levels.

Being open-minded does not mean that you swallow everything that comes to you hook, line, and sinker. You instead filter new data with reason and a desire to learn. Then you take those which add to what you know and accept correction of your old facts and opinions if necessary. This may require some action from you; not taking those actions will be another sign of being close-minded.

Open-mindedness is most expressed when the individual allows himself to be a freethinker, questioning all he has known so far and open to taking in new answers to old questions. It is a mark of an intelligent mind to question, and the questioning mind is open to answers, answers that fit, even if those answers may change in the future.

Open-mindedness will present you with opportunities for learning and discovery. To gain these, you have to be sincere about learning, about truly paying attention to the source of information, and to place no blocks between you and the source for whatever reason. It is not as if learning is an obligation to you, it is rather a necessity. Only the open-minded learn and the world finds peace placing open-minded people at the helm of institutional affairs. These people ensure the wheel of civilization keeps moving with new oil.

(culled from the upcoming book, I, Come Forth: Living A Victorious and Creative Life by Victor Negro)TAGS: BLOGGERSPIRITUALITYZEROTOHERO

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