OH TO BE OPEN-MINDED!
Some may feel it’s a bit rich coming from an opinionated so-in-so such as myself. Why? You tell me. Symptomatic of the crazy world we live in – opinionated folk often are accused of being opinionated! If open-mindedness leads to becoming opinionated then good. I want to hear what people have to say. Takes five seconds realising if the person you’re talking to has the brains of a rocking horse. What I can’t stand are Humpty-Dumpty merchants who just sit on the fence.
How many times have I explained something, outlining all the necessary points, no bias attached whatsoever only for the person to turn round & say ‘AAHHH THAT’S JUST YOUR OPINION!………… When this happens I make a point of looking over my shoulder, perfectly aware no one’s behind me to then say ‘I’m sorry – was I talking to someone else or perhaps you were hoping for the Gettysburg Address? OF COURSE IT’S MY OPINION YOU BLITHERING IDIOT!’
A while ago I wrote, the moment you possess a fair understanding of what’s really going on, you’re in a world of hurt! Hence the saying ‘ignorance is bliss’. For the individual, remaining unaware, seemingly, has its advantages. There’s lots less to worry about. Does this mean the dense, dim, dumb & dopey fret less than the clued up? Hardly. I’m of the belief understanding how our world works & indeed our ‘impossible’ Universe serves to prioritise our fears. As a result, we worry less about the things uninitiated folk go doolally over.
Open-mindedness is largely down to having parents with sound judgement, able enough to show right from wrong while allowing the thought process to flourish. Einstein was asked how he solved many of mankind’s deepest philosophical conundrums. He simply replied ‘I like to ask questions.’ Unfortunately this is an exception rather than the rule. Worse still, with certain topics like 9/11 & the Holocaust, the mere sniff of a question can incur a volley of abuse. One can argue lack of education is to blame but what does it take for a person to realise their new-born child is neither a racist or religious?
Religion – but a concoction of man’s imagination! Why is it believers never question how they follow the same religion as their parents? How many ‘belief systems’ are there? Yet, even though one’s positively spoilt for choice, of the 5 billion worshippers, almost all follow the same religion as their parents. All that’s required is a little thought, dare I say it, open-mindedness. Lamentably, the brain shutters don’t just come crashing down; with religion they remain clamped! Bizarre to say the least. Many are intellectuals & those who’ve been taught right from wrong flawlessly. Of course with religion, indoctrination is the way. Parents themselves were forced to believe. it’s easily applied through the installation of fear. Damnation in hell awaits those who fail to succumb!
Fear is a central theme of life. How else could Nature thrive so outlandishly as it does on this planet? Over time creatures developed fear because awareness itself was an attribute. Naturally animals slow to sense danger often ended up as a tasty snack! Those alert to danger were therefore more likely to pass their genes on than those that were slovenly, footloose & fancy free. This most certainly applied to our ancestors. However one particular mammalian branch evolved so spectacularly, one day it would learn to utilise fear as a weapon in order to control others. Minds weren’t just capable of being shut down – they were programmable!
Yet I’ll admit many who know me believe I’m set in my ways; I’ve a closed mind. To some extent I understand why but nothing is further from the truth. Music for me is the language of the Universe & I’m convinced Hendrix, Mozart & Beethoven are the three greatest musicians in history. I know Rachmaninov, Wagner, Tchaikovsksy; I know about the Beatles & Elvis, Gershwin & Porter; I know what amazing pianists & writers Chopin & Liszt were; I know the genius of Segovia & Paganini. Yet however strong the irresistible force is, I stand firm – the immovable object………. except I grant you – the moment someone comes along to seriously challenge my top three I’ll be aware of it. My mind is open to the possibility too that someone who knows far more about music could show just how wrong I am.
Imagine two close friends – one a life-long Democrat, the other a die-hard Republican. All arguments have been squeezed bone dry. Neither can say anything to effect a switch of allegiance. Now another friend who previously supported one of the these parties suddenly declares ‘no. I’ve thought about this & I’ve come to the conclusion the Dems & the Reps are merely both sides of the same coin.’ He then proceeds to explain exactly why. Chances are this will make no difference but if the points are delivered calmly & skilfully, one of them may ponder. He may not convert but at least he’s prepared to think & analyse why his friend had radically altered his views. Therefore a mind slightly ajar is a damn sight better than a closed one. We were, after all, given the right to think!