Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Open Versus Closed Minded

Are you open minded or close minded?  How can you tell?  Here's an easy test.  For a given belief that you hold, can you ask yourself, "What if I'm wrong?"  Can you ask yourself that and mean it?  I bet it's easy to ask for some of your beliefs (and facts!) than others. 

A better question would be how open minded you are.  There are no absolutes.  If a person were 100% close minded, they wouldn't be able to talk to anyone and stay sane.  If a person were 100% open minded, they wouldn't be able to decide anything.  I'm guessing that most people fall somewhere in the middle.

One complication for this issue is the type of belief.  Some beliefs have a stronger affect on who we are and how we live than others.  The four big ones are probably about religion, civil rights, politics, and economics.  On the other side are beliefs about whether carbs are bad for you and what types of books are the best.  If you can ask yourself if you're wrong about one of the big four, you're more open minded than if you can only ask it about which fast food joint has better burgers. 

I'm probably more open minded than close minded.  This is evidenced by how difficult it is for me to decide what to do with my life.  I probably wonder if I'm wrong a bit too much.  If I wait too long to close my mind to other paths, I'll have chosen none of them.  To me, choosing none is about as bad as choosing a wrong path. 

So is it better to be open minded or close minded?  I'll straddle the fence a bit longer on this and say that it's better to be open minded on some things at certain times and better to be close minded on some things the rest of the time.  But that's just my open minded self talking.

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