“You’re so open-minded that your brain falls out.” Steve Taylor
“A mind is like a parachute – it doesn’t work if it is not open.” Frank Zappa
“I’m taking a big step backwards to expand my point of view.” Steve Hindalong
Does an open mind make you a person of loose convictions? Can real conversation occur between people who aren’t open-minded?
Open-mindedness is seen as both a positive & negative trait.
On the one hand, a closed mind cannot be changed even when it is wrong. On the other hand, open-minds are criticised for being flippant & inconsistent.
Because a mind is open doesn’t make it a mind prone to manipulation. It may be a mind where good ideas can impact it, but it doesn’t mean everything presented to it will force it into ever-changing points of view.
With age, we can become rigid and set in our ways & views. With all your experience, you don’t want to admit you are wrong about something. So when something comes along that can threaten our opinions, we are more concerned about defending our views to save looking foolish rather than relishing the chance to take a potential opportunity to learn something new.
Sometimes what we label as inconsistency is actually growth. Or at least an attempt at it.
We are all different, and through the power of conversation we get to experience a look at someone else’s world.
But we can’t experience that without an open-mind. To see something from someone else’s point of view, we need to suspend our own pre-held notions. Don’t be afraid, it doesn’t mean you need to adopt their view, just look at it.
Conversation is an exchange – an exchange of ideas, an exchange of experiences, an exchange of viewpoints. An exchange can’t occur when there isn’t an opening.
If you aren’t listening, the conversation doesn’t evolve. It’s just two people saying things they each already know at each other.
Some things are good for us to hear, even if they are things we already know.
Martin Pistorius was diagnosed as being brain dead. Yet he was conscious, alert, and could see & hear everything that was happening around him. No one realised for 11 years.