miércoles, 13 de junio de 2012

The opinion on...open mindedness

The first 'The opinion on...' for gumption 2.0! Aren't we excited...

I want to talk about a cliché concept that isn't really what it should be. Having an open mind is something that's obviously necessary, but the way it's been explained to me, there's something missing. It's current definition would be something like 'being receptive to new and different ideas or the opinions of others' (definition from thefreedictionary.com). The problem is, what happen when another culture doesn't let women vote, or kill people without a fair trial; should we be open minded about these ideas? We aren't open minded about these things, because it's impossible (and not very practical) to be open minded about things that are actually different from ours. We're open minded about things that are already acceptable, like eating bugs, or having a different religion, or having 10 kids. We accept these things sayng we are open minded, but actually, it's because these things are not very different from our one culture.

The way I see it, we should ask ourselves to be open minded not about what other people do, but about ourselves.

Imagine if we would be attacked by someone else because are way of life isn't acceptable. Could we live with that? Would we be open minded about that idea?

I feel like it's natural and we have the right to say 'wow, this other culture is weird' or 'what their doing is unacceptable', but with that comes the responsability to honestly (and let me put some emphasis on the honestly) accept that we are also the weird ones.

When you say 'what this culture is doing is unacceptable', you have to know that you're way of doing it is as unacceptable because weirdness is always reciprocal. Only then can you really respect someone elses ideas, and only then can you really understand someone elses point of view. And only then can you really ask each other; is there a way that's better than the other?

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