Saturday, September 01, 2012

There is no such thing as being open-minded

Lately, I've been seeing a lot of my friends on FB posting to their wall things like:

I'm tired of seeing  political/humanitarian/ethical statements/propaganda/bullsh*t/etc... opposite of my beliefs, so if you start posting things I disagree with/find offensive/are opposite to my viewpoint/etc...  I'm going to unfriend you/hide you/cast voodoo curses on you/ etc...

I rarely spout on about my political/religious/ethical points on FB, I leave that for my blog and for actual conversations.  But I read these huffy statements and wonder:

Would you rather have me lie?  Would you rather have me deny my strongly held beliefs?  What would you think if I came out and expected you to change everything you believe because I think you are wrong and I am right?  Isn't it better that people can think and believe what they do based on their own personal circumstances and experiences instead of being dictated into believing what you want them to think?  What would you think of me if I bent to every wind and never took a stand on anything, or just kept flopping around?  How can you be so sure you are right and I am not?  

Would you like me if you had a star on your belly and there was none on mine?  (Sorry, had to add the Dr Suess reference)

Aren't those the underlying questions such a statement begs?

My viewpoints on hot-topics are very ...unexpected (to some people, anyway).   I get misjudged a lot, people think they know what I think, but they don't know the REASONING of what I think.  Here is why:

I don't like drama, and deep down I know I have a great potential to be dramatic.  I don't like that aspect of myself.  I much prefer to consider myself cool-headed and even-tempered.  But Joe can tell you that's not true...boy can he tell you stories of that not being true.  So having come to the admission of this personality flaw, I work very hard to avoid situations where I am likely to become highly dramatic.  To avoid the worst of me from coming out, I keep my opinions to myself, unless I am asked specifically. 

So with this thought, I wonder about people that make statements like the generality of the above.  Why are they so threatened by other people's statements that they go to such extremes to avoid them, and in some cases invite them so they can do the action threatened?  And these statements are coming from people who I know consider themselves to be and claim to be open-minded.

I don't believe in the term "open-minded" anymore.  I don't see any evidence that it really exists.  Everyone has their own biases, but whether they admit to them or shout them out on the top of the mountain is really up to them.  I have yet to encounter anyone when faced with a contradictory point of view will stop and say, "that is a good point, I will have to consider that and possibly readjust my opinion"

Nope, I hear, "you're wrong"  and "I don't agree", or "that's your opinion", or "shut up moron"  or "you are a *insert derogatory slur*"

I wish people would think about that.  Isn't that what those declarations are really saying?  How will there ever be a greater understanding if that's how mankind acts as a whole?  Even more, if you are that closed-minded while claiming to be open-minded, how are you different than the person/people you are addressing?

I think about these things.

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