In our Western culture, it’s something we like to think we are.
And maybe, to a certain extent, it’s true. Sure, we don’t keep slaves any more. Women are allowed to vote. Gay relationships are openly acknowledged. People don’t get stoned for having sex outside of marriage.
But sometimes these ‘big’ differences, new laws and ways of doing life are easy enough for us to accept (along with the masses) – to the point where we brand ourselves as open minded, without really examining what that means.
It’s only when little stuff comes along and stops us in our tracks we realise that perhaps our mind-doorways aren’t quite as wide open as we thought.
There are tell-tale signs – you feel uptight. You feel outraged. Your nose is bent out of shape. You want to argue and say, ‘No, it isn’t like that at all – you’re wrong’. It could even be an internal churning, the discomfort that comes from having something you’ve always believed and accepted … challenged.
You might say, ‘Well, that’s a good thing isn’t it – it’s just my conscience/internal guide telling me that something isn’t right’. Perhaps, in some or even most cases; it is. But I’ve come to realise that I very easily confuse my conscience with inner stubbornness and unwillingness to change a closely-held opinion.
There’s a lot of differing beliefs out there. A lot of skin colours, cultures, and ways of cooking the same egg.
If you don’t want to know any way other than your own, that’s fine. You can (and many do) happily live that way. But you’ll never learn to experience the greater joy of seeing the world through many different pairs of eyes. The many hues you’ll only glimpse when you choose to:
Be Open Minded.