Many of us, myself included, could do with expanding our views on a multitude of topics, opening up our minds to differing perspectives, if only to really understand why we hold certain views of our own, and of course to sometimes re-evaluate and change those views.

Unfortunately these days, I see many people accusing others of being close minded, chastising them because after that person listens to the others opinion and still does not agree, they are told to be more open minded.

There seems to be some confusion here; being open minded does NOT mean that you have to change your mind and agree with someone just because they tell your their opinion, even if they make good points. In most cases there is not one way to view a topic and so this struggle to force someone to agree with you is simply a case of wanting to feed your own ego to feel right.

To be open minded means to be receptive to others opinions, to have the capacity to listen and find common points of agreement within a subject but not to fully agree with someone at all times. Fundamentally the system of values we choose to run on is a complex machine and it cannot be in sync with every human being around us.

If you find yourself in a constant state of anger or irritation when debating others simply because no one agrees with you the way you want them to, then I suggest you rethink your strategy and perhaps focus more on what you can learn from others to expand your own viewpoints and not care whether you can turn someone to your side.

Life should be a celebration of difference, perhaps not all things are equal, and some in my view are quite horrible, but overall we have more in common to enjoy then to complain about.


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