July 29

Reflection

Openness is the ability to be receptive to new possibilities without prejudging them. It probes new information before making a negative judgment. The contrast to openness is narrow-mindedness and rigidity. It is a lack of acceptance that we are continuing to evolve in consciousness and in the understanding of our universe. As we observe the religious climate in which we live, we often see positions and attitudes which are frozen in time and people who refuse to open themselves to new information no matter what the situation or evidence may be. A lack of openness makes us weary from running in place. Reflect on the Gospel stories.  How many times do you see Jesus chastising others who are judgmental, rigid and lacking in openness to his message? It is vital to the development of the spiritual life to maintain an attitude of openness.

Prayer

Today if I hear God’s voice, may I not harden my heart.
Psalm 95

Action

How flexible am I? Do I usually think I already know all the answers?
Am I open to other perspectives? How do I react to new ideas?

Suggested Readings

They who have ears to hear, let them hear!
Matthew 11:15

Openness is a receptivity to everyone and everything. It is quite fundamentally an other-centeredness, a disposition of availability to others.
Wayne Teasdale

The open-minded see the truth in different things: the narrow-minded see only the differences.
Charles Kettering

 We are at times too ready to believe that the present is the only possible state of things.
Marcel Proust

 We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.
Max de Pree

Openness and participation are antidotes to surveillance and control.
Howard Rheingold

 The only thing that permits human beings to collaborate with one another in a truly open-ended way is their willingness to have their beliefs modified by new facts. Only openness to evidence and argument will secure a common world for us.
Sam Harris

We may not always agree with every one of our neighbors. That’s life. And it’s part of living in such a diverse and dense city. But we also recognize that part of being a New Yorker is living with your neighbors in mutual respect and tolerance. It was exactly that spirit of openness and acceptance that was attacked on 9/11, 2001.
Michael Bloomberg

 

 

Tags: