April 30, 2018
Be willing to look at things differently, because things aren’t always as they seem to be.
I recently watched a discussion on what many feel are our greatest problems today. On top of the list was tribalism and the polarization rampant in todays society. In too many cases civility has been abandoned and replaced by aggressive, often unreasoned behavior. Parents are raising children who believe the worst about those who don’t agree with them.
It seems like our closedmindedness is keeping too many of us from working together to build a better society rather than to tear what we have apart. I recently read an article published on the Positively Present blog that offers the path to more open minded tolerance. I have had to edit it for space but kept the suggestions.
Consider different perspectives + beliefs – Those with open minds are open to considering different points of view, perspectives, beliefs, ideas, etc. It’s easier to do when encountering a new idea, but it’s something truly open-minded people do even when it comes to deeply held beliefs.
Recognize + fight against desires for generality + closure – As humans, we have strong desires to label things clearly so we can understand them. Those with open minds recognize that concepts like generalization and closure are alluring, but they aren’t always useful.
Accept + embrace the concept of ambivalence – The concept of ambivalence or having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone, isn’t always an easy one for people to grasp. We want to know that there is a conclusion or at least an explanation. Open-minded people realize that this isn’t always the case, that there are often many situations in which feelings will be mixed, in which they might hold two contradicting ideas about something.
Understand thoughts are warped + distorted – All the thoughts we think are distorted in some way. We are influenced not only by our moods, cultures, stress-levels, surroundings, etc., but we’re also limited by what we can humanly observe with our five senses. Open-minded people seek to recognize the ways in which their own thoughts (or the thoughts of others) might be warped, and factor those distortions into account when making decisions, taking action, or aligning themselves with a belief.
View open-mindedness as a skill requiring practice – Open-minded people recognize that open-mindedness, like any worthwhile skill, requires practice. It’s something that comes more easily to some (depending on how they were raised, what culture they come from, what kind of personality they have, etc.), but regardless of what skill level they started with, open-minded people know that they need to keep practicing to keep their open-mindedness ability sharp.
Create opportunities to rethink assumptions – Finally, and perhaps most importantly, those with open minds give themselves opportunities to rethink assumptions and consider new perspectives. They recognize the limitations of their own minds and cultures, and they actively seek out sources that will help them explore new ways of thinking. In a world that makes it easy to surround yourself with what’s familiar, open-minded people create opportunities for themselves to learn new ways of thinking and explore a variety of points of view.
Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
George Bernard Shaw
At a fancy reception a young man was asked by a widow to guess her age. “You must have some idea,” she urged when he hesitated.
“I have several ideas,” he admitted with a smile, “the trouble is that I don’t know whether to make it ten years younger because of your looks or ten years older because of your intelligence.”
I don’t think women should be allowed to have kids after 40. 40 kids is way too much by any standard.
My cardiologist had bad news for me: “You’re going to need a pacemaker.”
Later, the nurse filling out the admission form began to ask me the standard questions: “Have you ever had mumps, measles, etc.?”
Seeing how upset I was, she put down the clipboard and took my hand. “Don’t worry. This kind of heart problem is easily fixed, and your life will be much better as a result.”
I felt reassured until she continued with, “Do you have a living will?”
“What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to.”
Hansell B. Duckett
Jake had proposed to young Gina, and was being interviewed by his prospective father-in-law.
“Do you think you are earning enough to support a family?” the older man asked the suitor.
“Yes, sir,” replied Jake, “I’m sure I am.”
“Think carefully now,” said Gina’s father. “There are twelve of us…”
A study published in “Neurology” says people who snore are more prone to getting headaches. No reason is given. But could it be on account of their spouses hitting them in the head all night long trying to get them to stop snoring?
Sign seen on a plastic surgeon’s window: “Come in and pick your nose!”
A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.
A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
A successful woman is one who can find such a man.
Better to lose a lover, than love a loser.
A newspaper editor received this note from a reader:
“My wife was about to file for a divorce when she read the article in your paper about the importance of giving second chances in making a marriage work. So she changed her mind about the divorce. Effective today, cancel my subscription to your paper”
“Let go of your attachment to being right, and suddenly your mind is more open. You’re able to benefit from the unique viewpoints of others, without being crippled by your own judgment.”
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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