Christopher King
Franklin Pierce College
FPC Box 850 College Road
Rindge, NH 03461
United States

What is it to have an open mind?

I've been undergoing some bits of backlash lately because of my views. At first I thought not much of it until I received a hatemail from someone I've never met before who called me a sexist and many other explitives basically coming down onto the extent of my intellect and my family heritage. Ordinarily this would not have bothered me, but after coming back from vacation spending 3 weeks at a minister of restorative Christianity's house I was not in the most pleasant of moods and certainly not to be hassled by some jerk who evidently had no idea what he was talking about. So because I hate stupid people and ignorance that much, I'll attempt a role of teacher to help educate those misguided souls who may also feel the need to badger me about how wrong I am on everything.

Having an open mind consists of having patience and acceptance of all views no matter how dissimilar to your own that they may be. Each person's opinions are their own and like it or not, having an open mind precludes a person from the chance of trying to hold another person back because their views are different. I am a very closed-minded person, then? Not necessarily, just because I think I'm right and pointing out what I have observed and my hypotheses because of those observations does not make me a closed-minded individual, merely an analytical person. Also because I have the habit of throwing in bad and tasteless jokes at inopportune times does also not necessarily make me or anybody else closed-minded. I'm not claiming, however, that I am an open-minded person. In fact, I would venture to suppose that I am very closed-minded. I do not feel that there is anything wrong with that. I accept people, and granted as ignorance grates my nerves, I try to be patient with those I consider wrong and help point out the error of their ways. While not being an open-minded position, it is beneficial to both myself and those to whom I am in conversation with because this communication is essential in changing both of our views. I know I may pretend to be smart, but I know I am an idiot as I am ignorant on many issues and facts. One may say that you should not remove the splinter in your brother's eye if you feel to see the plank in your own. I do not agree with that position as I believe all humans have that plank blocking their vision. The only way that we can effect for a change for the better is to remove the splinters from others as that is what we can see. It would then be allowable for others to remove that which obscures our sight. I know that the results may not always be terribly accurate, but an attempt is better than sitting on your thumb while the world passes by degeneratively and nothing changes for the better. I admit to my shortcomings on every page in here that I have written. I have made no absolute statements of fact, I have merely stated my opinion of things from the vantage point that I possess. Having an open-mind should accept that my vantage point or anyone else's vantage point cannot be made to understand more than they can see. If no one else is here to prove me wrong, all I can do is conclude that from my experience that I am right. Show me evidence that I am wrong so I may be more open-minded.

Also to be open-minded one must also accept that they are not necessarily correct. Open-mindedness accepts their own ignorance and shortcomings. They must be willing to accept that all that they understand can be wrong in an instant. Being open minded has nothing to do with how you treat other people, but how you treat yourself. I believe that my mind is my own and autonomous from the minds of others. I make my own decisions and I live with the consequences of the actions and inactions I take from those decisions. Others may influence me, but ultimately, as long as I live, my choices will be made entirely by me no matter how limited my options are. If I am arrogant, if I am proud, if I am hostile, then I know I cannot be open-minded because I will not accept that I have the capacity to be wrong in what I believe. That is one thing that shys me away from political correctness. Everything changes by the circumstances and contexts that they are in. Political correctness opens up a spanning empire of decadence and closing people off from each other. If understanding others lay in the ability to disconnect from others, then we are all hostage to this forcing of differences and destruction of subjectivity. Short is short not vertically challenged. In fact, I would rather be called the human speedbump than vertically challenged because it disconnects us with the life and humanity that simple description provides. A term like vertically challenged only serves to sever relations with others not because of the hostility for which the differential is made, but because that person's own identity is characterized by a specific and set description, not something that can be altered and played with in a fun and human-like way. I cannot believe that in an attempt to classify differences, people are willing to throw away the humanity in the language into a dull, lifeless collection of letters that means nothing to anybody. Perhaps my self identity is too strong to relate to others' need to segregate themselves from human nature, but then again, I am a very closed-minded person.

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