A very interesting scenario presented itself recently, that I would like to touch on and maybe [hopefully] gather some views and opinions on.
A great deal of our lives are about opinions. There are many areas where there are no direct rules and regulations, just views and opinions. I am very fortunate that I live in a free society and I am able to express my own opinions and debate other people’s opinions.
What I have found to be a fact though, is that most people form their own opinion, then defend it as though it were the word of God or something close. There is no debate possible, because a very high percentage of the world’s population are not open-minded at all. I find this a terrible predicament. I love to argue and debate, on a great many issues, but even I have found myself out to be not very open-minded sometimes about the possibilities that exist.
I believe a great many people profess to be open-minded, but in fact, they are just deluding themselves. If you take any area of life, just one area, examine your views/opinions and beliefs on said subject, then ask yourself what you will do if someone were to challenge those views/opinions/beliefs, if you are honest with yourself, you might just be surprised at what you find.
I think having been ill and left with a medical condition that so far is untreatable, has led me to examine my life as a whole over the last three years. I have worked extensively with a head doc [psychologist] and have learnt a few things about myself along the way. Maybe it is due to experiences like that, which affect some of us, we learn more about ourselves and those around us. Things that you may take for granted suddenly change and you have little choice but to re-evaluate. That inner contemplation takes you to parts of yourself that you may seldom, if ever, visit. We are in many ways pre-programmed to react in certain ways. I know I fell into the same category as many others when I became depressed over mourning my former life. I thought I was alone, but I am not, it happens to many who suffer such setbacks. So we fit a kind of typecast or stereotype in that way, in as much as I reacted like many before me. My feelings, emotional and logical thoughts at that time, did not recognise how to cope, so I fell into the dark and needed help to get back to the light. But, the tools necessary to cope, are within all of us, sometimes we just need someone to guide us back to them. I had no empathy at all with anyone with any kind of mental, psychological or stress related illness, I thought it was just a human weakness. My mindset was one of thinking such people had no inner strength, so therefore were not the person I was. How things can change! If you, or anyone had told me 4 yrs ago that I would succumb to a mental illness, I would have laughed in your face. Very open-minded response is that, not!
Before Easter 2008, I would argue and debate in a very aggressive fashion. I would defend a principle or ideal to the end, without seeing much of the other point of view, even though I kidded myself I was as open-minded as the next man. I know different now and the way I approach a debate now is changing. I can still get very aggressive, but not as often. I am starting to really see/hear another persons opinion/view/belief/emotion/thought etc etc. It’s not an easy task, but just by stopping, listening/reading a different opinion, then examining your own opinions can you even begin to think you are open-minded. A recent blog showed me the old error still exists within. Hence this blog, trying, in some way, to address the cause of such feelings. I have let go of the older me and am in the process of finding the newer version. I hope I get there, but I know it wont be easy. But if I can really open my mind up, then my chances of success are improved, maybe you might like to try doing the same sometime? You might just enjoy the experience.