“Broad-mindedness is relative to tolerance, open-mindedness is sibling to peace~Salmon R.
You see, we all process information differently. We hear what we want and feel the way we want based on our understanding. People understand (decode) information differently and this forms their beliefs, views, or opinions about any situation. This is because each one of us view life from a (slightly) different lens. Two people can read, listen or view something and come off with different interpretations and feelings. Because, we tend to pay more attention to parts of the information that agree with what we ‘believe’ and disregard the rest of the information.
Our brains tend to simplify and make sense of things. That’s the way we are wired. But simplifying that, comes in different understanding. We forget that the way we interpret the world in our own lens is different from the way others do.
Most often, people tend to jump into conclusions before even thinking a situation through. Most people close their minds to accepting or analyzing a different view, idea or opinion other than the one they’re used to. Once some people form a perception about a thing, they stick to it come rain or shine. They become unwilling to learn or open up, or consider new ideas or change their perception. They become judgmental, dogmatic and biased. A person with a fixed idea will always find ways to convince himself that he is always right.
It is difficult when we’re agitated or when things seem complex to pause and think and view from another standpoint. So what then do we do?
That’s where open–mindedness comes in. Being open-minded can be really tough sometimes. Because throughout our lives, we’ve absorbed certain values and perception of things. So when we’re faced with one that seems to challenge/contradict ours, we feel agitated. Sometimes, this is because of our need to stay in control so we never want to let go of that ‘belief’. Because all through our lives, we have held to it so strongly.
Keeping an open mind helps us to understand others and manage uncertainties. It is a mind relative to the way people approach the views of others. That the values of others should be recognized. A mind that is receptive to new interests or knowledge is a mind of possibilities and growth. Even if it makes you fume, even if you don’t agree with it, you can pause to understand from an angle different from yours.
Listening/reading/viewing from an open mind let’s you pause and think and understand. Because it’s a complicated world that we navigate. Jumping into assumptions second by second, minute by minute, does not give you the space to ask questions and allow for differences. Sometimes you need to take a break and ask yourself; is this person talking about a movie or a song? listen.
Being open–minded is a form of practicing mindfulness. It is paying attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them. It is maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our surroundings too. When we practice mindfulness, we’re sensing in the PRESENT not rehearsing the PAST or imagining the FUTURE. It is a conscious direction of your awareness. Paying attention ON PURPOSE, in the PRESENT, and NON-JUDGEMENTALLY.
Mindfulness is a way of creating a balance for your life and being at peace with it. It helps your health and positively enhances how you see the world. When you have a closed mind, you take the first thing that enters your head and establish it as a fact. Sometimes you may be wrong, as things aren’t always as they seem.
Before you reach your conclusions, challenge your thoughts. Are they coming from the past or what you heard? Be inquisitive. Broaden your horizon and look at things in a realm of different possibilities.
One of the facts out there is, most of us are ignorant. We often don’t know it or don’t want to admit it. It is important to open up to learning. The moment you think you know it all, is the moment you know nothing!
PS: Have a foundation from which all ideas filter. Be ever willing to listen, ask questions, learn and understand.
I’d love to know your thoughts. Don’t forget to share and connect.
Until next time,