Wednesday, January 15

On Being Open-Minded

I think society has a major problem. And it revolves primarily around the incorrect use of language, and more specifically around use of certain terms like "open-minded" and "tolerance." Those of you who believe you are open-minded or tolerant raise your hand. I bet most of you mentally thought, "Yeah, I'm pretty open-minded." Believe it or not, I even thought that I was open-minded for a brief minute. Some of you are scoffing at the idea that I, a blatantly conservative young woman, could be open-minded. Then I thought about those people in society who call themselves open-minded. We all know who I'm referring to. One political party more than the other tends to associate themselves with this term. And with it, they label their stances on major political issues. 

Well it's not accurate. Not how "we" use it, not how "they" use it.

Open-minded (adj.) Receptive to new and different ideas or the opinions of others; having a mind receptive to new ideas, arguments, etc.; unprejudiced.

Tolerant (adj.) Showing willingness to allow the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.

Now please tell me how receptive you are to the different opinions of others. Tell me how you never trample on the perspectives of others especially those you find disagreeable. (And while you're at it, please tell my anonymous blog critics to stop being so overwhelmingly open-minded toward my personal beliefs and ideas (despite this being my personal blog and me not forcing them to read or react to it)). Seriously, I can't take their tolerance.*

There are very few people who are open-minded or tolerant. And I am not one of them. I do not tolerate views that I believe to be wrong or immoral. I do not tolerate people who judge me and call me judgmental. It's part of being human to judge and learn to make righteous judgments. 

Judgement (noun) The ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions.

I know a few people who actually are open-minded. They align themselves with one party or one type of people but willingly listen and learn from the opinions of those with opposite views. They are information gatherers, and they are the truly tolerant among us. One reader of mine in particular fits this description. She forms her opinions about others based on a number of factors, accounting for cultural differences, upbringing, and environment. She may disagree with the majority of my views, but her willingness to learn about them and her efforts to understand them prior to forming judgments make her truly tolerant.

I've come to the sensible conclusion that many, many people are not as open-minded or tolerant as they proclaim. They must learn that these two principles are two-way behaviors. I have not mastered them. And I can assure you that I am fully aware that society has not done so either, regardless of political party. If you are going to use one of those terms, please learn to do so correctly, or you are wasting my close-minded time. Better yet, take an English course or read a Dictionary and a Thesaurus and then come anonymously insult me with your tolerance. 

I've learned that I am judgmental. But I judge based on my conservative upbringing, my religious background, my personal opinions developed in my mere twenty-two years of public education, and especially by my intuition because I believe that everyone has an inner moral compass whether they believe the same or choose to follow it or not. I follow mine. And there's where all this stuff that I put in this blog comes from. Blame my nature and my upbringing if you want.

Now stop being so close-minded and accept my beliefs already. (That, like much of this post by the way, was sarcasm. Sarcasm (noun) The use of words that mean the opposite of what you really want to say especially in order to insult someone, to show irritation, or to be funny...I think I accomplished all three of those things). 

Also, just to clarify...Close-minded (adj.) Intolerant of the beliefs and opinions of others; stubbornly unreceptive to new ideas. 

I'm not asking for comments on this one because, let's be honest, I don't really want to hear them unless they're compliments.**


*Note: My husband Dalin is wonderfully supportive of me, but he and I do not necessarily agree on every subject that I choose to discuss on this blog. He is very much more open-minded than I am about nearly every subject and is a much better person than I on many levels. He thought that I was going too far with my sarcasm in this paragraph and admittedly it was written in mild rage annoyance, but I am (evidently) a very disagreeable person who likes conflict so I thought it most appropriate to leave it in. I'll try to tone it down in the future though, and that is one thing I am serious about. ;)

**Believe it or not, I wrote this post with the intention of being informative rather than argumentative. I clearly failed at conveying that but all the same, I do not mean to dictate how I think "all people should behave" (by my private definition) but I do write to share my views and inform. 


  1. I'd love to hear (read) Dalin's opinions on key issues you discuss...abortion, gay marriage etc... you are definitely opinionated and I give you props for being so willing to discuss issues...

    1. I will ask him for sure, though it will take convincing! He's way calmer and more sensible than I am, which makes us a good fit ;)


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