If I could change one thing in the world what would it be??? I read a great quote this evening in a tattoo magazine of all places. The quote was featured on a t-shirt that was being advertised. The quote read, "I'll promise to avoid being offended by your closed mind if you'll promise to avoid being offended by my open one." That quote says it all. I see so many examples of close minded thinking where I live, which is a small rural area. A common misconception is that small, rural towns are filled with close minded citizens. I've experienced it in the larger cities where I've lived as well. Close minded thinking is evident everywhere. It's sad to see just how many people are so closed to different ideas, ways of thinking, ways of living and ways of expressing oneself. It's not that I am wanting acceptance for the different ideas, it's more that I wish others wouldn't pass judgment just because the ideas are different or not necessarily the norm.
A perfect example was in my town's local high school. The students were given an assigned issue and what they had to do was argue the opposite of how they truly believed. The issues were all highly volatile issues that ignited deep arguments. Well, one young man didn't want to do the assignment as it were assigned because he couldn't possibly argue for this issue when he was so adamantly against it...so he said. The sad thing was that he couldn't open his mind even just a small bit to gather what the other side of the argument stated, what they believed and why they believed it. He had his mind closed tight and there was no compromise to loosening it to becoming more informed of other perspectives or points of view. He didn't pass the assignment because of his own chosen ignorance and small minded thinking. The teacher ought to be applauded because she challenged the students to get out of their comfort zone and small boxes and see things bigger and from the opposing sides of arguments.
Close minded thinking is something I despise because of its divisive and stereotypical nature. I think when a particular idea or person doesn't 'fit' into a given society's nice, neat box, that makes people uncomfortable. Different isn't bad...its just different. I think when we fully realize that, then we will begin to see close minded thinking start to open up.