Friday, February 24, 2006

An Open Mind

Alrighty, I've decided to unclip the leash and let my mind wander. Let's see where it goes.
I think I've got a good grip on that which I used to have no concept of . . . it . . . thing. Stupid irregular grammar. Indeed, not to sound immodest, I do believe that it's something that not a lot of people truly have a firm grip. Did that sound immodest? I try really hard to avoid immodesty like that.
I think I've learned that no one knows everything, that everyone can only tell you anything, or give you advice based on what they've experienced. They can imagine, and keep an open mind to explain a different perspective, so long as they are willing. This isn't a bad thing, but I suppose that it identifies that individually, we are truly very limited. This again, is not a bad thing. I think that we are only capable of handling so much, and trying to do more would result in a sort of emotional overload.
Am I complicating? I suppose I am. I do that a lot. Thus, my decisions are influenced by what I have experienced, and by that, I do not mean solely what I have experienced first-hand, but what I have had explained to me, what I have heard from others. The total accumulation of my being, to gamut of all of my life goes into my decisions, my perceptions. And I am limited. We all are. And I think that that's fine, too, because it makes us all unique, and because of it, either because of some miraculous coincidents or clever planning in creation, in order to learn more, to open up new doors in ourselves, new ways of experiencing things, we have to open up to each other. We need others to understand. The semantics of that sentence are amusing, and I'll deal with one now and the other later. To understand things, to truly comprehend them, to the best of our ability, we need as many perspectives as we can get. In order to do that, we need to be open to reciving perspective from other people, what's more, we need to share with other people--so long as they, too, are receptive.
It's very hard, sometimes, to open up like that, though. We are very set in our beliefs, and it's so, so much easier to say "no, that's wrong" than to open up and understand that that is the way the other person thinks. It's a filtration system, part of that defense that keeps us from overloading. When presented with something new, we can go through the lengthy process of analysis, experimentation, and application within our own minds, or we can take the lazy method, which is to compare it, parallel it to what we currently know, and if it doesn't match, we reject it.
Here's the little mental paradox for me. I try very hard to embrace the philosophy that we are all different, and no one person has all the right answers, in fact, it is very likely that your average person will have none of them. I try to keep an open mind, open understanding that my way is not always the right way, and that other people have their own ways, and they have a right to them--customs, beliefs, opinions, any idea or concept in general. Because of this, I want to say that keeping a closed mind, condemning anything as wrong is wrong. However, in doing so, I would fall directly into that category. I would fall prey to the very same closemindedness that I seek to abolish.
The question then becomes, what to do? Nothing much, I suppose, except what I do now. I can try to lead by example, assert change with non-violent resistance, to lift a phrase and tactic from Ghandi. One cannot force open-mindedness, I suppose. All that one can really do is keep an open mind and hope that others will see the wisdom in doing such.
I have already asserted, though, that I do not know the "right" way. I do not know that this is the right way, but it feels right to me. It is entirely possible that the close-minded method is the right way. For me though, it feels that if I want people to understand my words, it is only fair that I make a legitimate effort to understand theirs.
I suppose I've rambled on for quite some time. There is more tucked away in my head, but perhaps that is best saved for another time, or perhaps not. I should really try to keep a more open mind. ;-)

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