Open-mindedness can be synonymous with cowardice and an inability or unwillingness to form an opinion and/or stand up for what you believe. This can be equally as useless and destructive to the fabric of society as being maliciously opinionated. It enables dependence and creates apathy and passivity.
Using an extreme example for emphasis sake, while listening to a talk radio program I heard a caller defend a convicted multiple murderer. The murderer had killed an entire family of four in their own home. He didn't know them, they were just in his way.
The caller was hypothesizing what childhood trauma may have caused him to commit this heinous act. She explained how society was to blame. She wondered how 'we' could pass judgment on him (even though he confessed to the crime after he was caught). This is open-mindedness to the extreme, and she was oh so politically correct.
Throughout her inane ramblings were all the markers of the brainwashed. After she spouted her PC views, she was unable to answer reasonable questions from the host, and became increasingly agitated at his attempt to draw out her core values.
That's because her opinions were mere mimickry and not found through her own intellectual processes. Opinions such as this come from acceptance seeking, not conviction.
"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought"
Had she truly thought about it, her real opinion would surely have been different from her politically correct, open-minded. "the killer is a victim" opinion. As John F. Kennedy once said:
"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."
That's what the pc crowd hopes for, and she was a good student.
She followed all the hypocritical pc rules of non-judgementalism toward the criminal, yet managed to assign blame to society, conservatives, the murderers parents - just about everyone except the murderer himself! Where she failed was in applying her brain to the grim reality of the situation.
Had she truly considered how it would be to have her own family killed in her own home by a total stranger, the unstable foundation of her extreme open-mindedness would have eroded.
I say 'unstable' foundation because it can be no other way if you build your house of beliefs on someone else's foundation of thoughts. You can start with someone else's thoughts, but unless you think them through to your own conclusion, they are not yours and you will draw little strength, faith and comfort from them, especially in times of need.
Open-mindedness should mean the ability to examine ideas and issues without prejudice
Being open-minded is still a good quality to strive for, but not at the expense of sacrificing your own brainwork.
Criminals must be held accountable. Unfortunately, personal responsibility and accountability have been eroded by soft-hearted, soft-minded movements based in feelings and fantasy instead of reality based thought. This direction will only increase crime and dependence and decay our society further.
Open-mindedness must be tempered with judgment, discretion, reason, and a willingness to take positions. The PC movement has convoluted the term 'open-minded' to mean non-judgmental, just as they have prostituted the definition of many words in an attempt to shame people into adopting their political agenda, or at least keeping their mouth shut and staying out of the way. Being open-minded, to them, means you must agree with them.
Any movement that doesn't allow for individual thought and dissenting opinion is cultism!
Open-mindedness should mean you have the ability and are willing to examine ideas and issues without prejudice in order to form an opinion, or to re-examine your opinion in light of new evidence. It is the doorway that enables us to entertain ideas to form an *enlightened* opinion that we *can* stand up for.
It does not mean you must be a garbage can for any swill someone wants to pour into your head. Being as open-minded as the lady caller is mental laziness and spineless approval seeking... and that's my considered opinion.
"In order to keep an open mind, I am trying to avoid learning anything."
- Ashleigh Brilliant
© 2006 Dennis Gaskill
Dennis Gaskil, a.k.a Boogie Jack, is the creator of BoogieJack.com, an almost legendary
resource site for webmasters, featuring a wide variety of highly-acclaimed tutorials, free tools and graphics, and very cool products. Dennis' multiple award-winning ezine Almost a Newsletter on web design and life skills, spiced with a heavy touch of humor, is packed with original content you won't find anywhere else.
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