About a year ago, I wrote an article about open-mindedness for the paper. At the time, it seemed like a simple thing to define and to deal with. We respect each other’s beliefs without giving in. We remain receptive to new ideas.
Another year having come and gone, my opinions about the matter haven’t changed a lot. I have noticed, however, how difficult it is to maintain an open mind.
I think that the vast majority of us would like to think that we’re receptive to ideas that are different from our own. But how many of us can legitimately claim to possess an open mind?
To have an open mind is to constantly question our own beliefs and being willing to admit that we might be wrong. But what if we find evidence that proves us wrong?
It’s easy to be open to the fact that all of our beliefs might not be right, but when we find compelling evidence that proves that we are wrong, well … it’s difficult to give up on those beliefs.
In college, our belief systems are going to be challenged every day. We have some professors who seem bent on proving us wrong and making our beliefs appear stupid. We have fellow students who believe different things than us who may present compelling evidence against our own beliefs.
At the end of the day, I think our beliefs are worth the thought that we put into them. While it does matter whether these beliefs are valid or invalid, it also matters why we accept them. The end can be important, but the process of discovery is valuable, as well.
No one should ever believe simply for the sake of believing. Honestly, if we don’t have reasons behind our beliefs — other than the fact that we may have grown up with them and believed them all of our lives — then maybe we should reevaluate our views.