Our culture values open-mindedness highly. “You’re very open-minded” is a compliment, and “You’re so closed-minded” is an insult.
Today, I’m going to turn the tables. I’m going to talk about how great it is to be closed-minded.
Being closed-minded is great because we are made of meat.
Being open-minded means being willing to have a rational discussion about something you disagree on. But people aren’t rational; we’re made of meat!
People believe that they do things for a reason, but that’s not actually true. People do what they want to do, then make up reasons for it after the fact.
Being closed-minded is great because everyone is.
Being open-minded means being willing to question your beliefs. But everyone has beliefs that are so strongly held that they’re unwilling to seriously question them.
For example, would you be willing to let someone try to convince you that rape is good? That the sky is green? I’d bet your patience would wear thin pretty fast, and it would be a total waste of everybody’s time. Everyone is closed-minded about something.
Being closed-minded doesn’t mean closing off all connection.
Being open-minded means being willing to connect with anyone who wishes to present you with a different point of view. Connection is wonderful, but you can live a life of connection without connecting with everyone, and without taking advantage of every opportunity for discussion, sharing, or understanding.
Being closed-minded is great because it holds healthy boundaries.
Being open-minded means being willing to listen to others’ points of view. This requires giving others your time and attention. It’s perfectly fine to choose not to share your time and attention. It’s your time, your attention, and your choice.
It’s the usual error; just because open-minded people choose to spend their time opening up to others’ points of view doesn’t mean others wish to or are obligated to.
Being closed-minded is great because there is no one right way.
Being open-minded is highly valued in this culture because it is a culture of science. Science says that an objective reality exists, that true answers to questions can be known. I don’t believe that. I believe that reality is subjective and individual. I believe that real life is like Mage. I believe that there is no one right way to live. I believe in following my heart.
You may believe differently. That’s cool.
You may believe in one objective reality and think that I’m living in a fantasy world. That’s cool.
You may wish to explain to me why I’m being unreasonable. But I won’t argue with you, because I live in a fantasy world. (: