The Importance of Keeping an Open Mind

It is not uncommon for people to have reservations about new and unfamiliar things. Negative preconceptions can color the unfamiliar in a bad light. This is a very limiting notion, however. Being open to different lifestyles and ideas can actually broaden your horizons and enrich you, if you are brave enough to give them a chance.

In my life, the things I’ve been most the most skeptical towards turned out to be some of my biggest passions. For example, I used to think vegans were very strange people. I thought they were slightly out of their minds. However, I did find veganism interesting. I did some digging, reading, and research and the more I understood the reasoning and facts, the more I began to actually start to agree with it. I even started to think it was cool. Lo and behold, I am a vegan today, and a very passionate one at that. This would be a huge surprise to the former me!

Another example is cooking. I used to think it was, for lack of a better word, lame to cook. I thought it was a pointless, boring waste of time. That is, until I started being responsible for all my own meals. I realized frozen pizza every night was just not a satisfying way to live. I started to cook a little bit here and there. My understanding began to deepen. Today, I am a fanatic chef. I spend time every day reading recipes for fun, salivating in anticipation for what I might make next!

To me, a closed mind is just an uninformed mind. It is important to always try to understand new ideas, even if they differ from your own. It’s the best way to really make up your mind. Entertaining the unfamiliar and trying to grasp of it what you can is a much more mature stance than just shutting it out.

The world is full of diverse people, ideas, and viewpoints. To undermine that is not only silly, but disadvantageous. In life, we are likely to come across very different people from ourselves. If we aren’t actively working on being open-minded to their perspectives, we might lose out on getting along with them on some level. This limits our ability to forge important bonds and relationships. Working to keep an open mind makes you more mindful, accepting, and tolerant. Those are likeable and noble qualities.

Being closed-minded can cause you to miss out not only on people and relationships, but also on experiences that may be of great importance. Trying new things is very beneficial and if you are too fearful, you will be missing out.

Next time you hear something that you perceive as strange or negative, try to find out a little more about it and see if you don’t change your mind. Most of the time, you can, it’s just a matter of seeing things from a different perspective. It is a great source of personal growth to try to step outside your comfort zone and push the envelope of your understanding.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

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