Saturday, February 03, 2007
Keeping an open mind...
What they are really suggesting is hearing folks out before you make a judgement. Sometimes learning by listening may be a waste of time from a knowledge acquisitions position but does help you understand alternative perspectives. By listening to others even in matters you disagree helps folks become less self-centered.
Of course this shouldn't mean listening to stupid idiots all day as we otherwise would be constantly bombarded with braindead thoughts such as Java is slow, sending more troops will help stabilize Iraq, the Bible should be interpreted literally, drinking your own urine is good for you, Smalltalk is still relevant in the enterprise and so on. Of course these things may have their aspects of truth, but otherwise aren't true for the masses and therefore should be stamped as irrelevant.
Imagine if folks actually noodled the above concepts? We would believe that Americans dying needlessly in Iraq somehow helps Iraqi's, church doctrine should change according to fashion and instead of priests stoning folks in Leviticus, they should instead become it, the pope should start support abortion, and even drinking your own urine has effects which may be beneficial if you have cancer or program in Smalltalk.
We each have our own guiding principles which are unwavering. These principles help us make decisions such as when to open our minds and when to close it. For example, if you believe that God doesn't exist, they you would need to have an open mind as to figuring out what is moral and what is not. Of course, if you do believe in God, you will also need to have an open mind to figure out more difficult concepts is how can God become less than himself (aka Trinity) and still remain onmipotent.
Minimally, when we open our mind, we also need to put constraints on the amount of openness we can permit. Consider if we are attempting to figure out the meaning of life. We could conclude any of the following things:
- The purpose of life is to serve others; therefore I will dedicate my life to furthering the condition of humanity '
- The purpose of life is unity with the one God; therefore I will dedicate my life to discovering God in all things
- The purpose of life is to dominate all things; therefore I will do so
- The purpose of life is to be smart, so I will be as smart as I can while pointing out all stupidity on the planet
Once you decide which of the above resonates with you the most, then it will guide future decisions and yet will close your mind and liberate you at the same time...
Links to this post: