As we endure the political climate in which we live, we see positions and attitudes which are frozen in time and people trapped in beliefs which block them from opening themselves to new situations no matter what the evidence or implications may be. Because they are powerful, ordinary people suffer and nations look on with anxiety. It is disheartening.
Openness is the ability to be receptive to new possibilities without prejudging them. It probes new information before making a negative judgment. It is freeing to the individual and to others as bias gives way to reason. The contrast to openness is stubborn narrow-mindedness, prejudice and rigidity. 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 especially to those in powerful positions to maintain an attitude of openness. Our responsibilities to others and to the honest development of our own lives demand it.
Today if I hear God’s voice, may I not harden my heart.
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?
They who have ears to hear, let them hear!
Openness is a receptivity to everyone and everything. It is quite fundamentally an other-centeredness, a disposition of availability to others.
The open-minded see the truth in different things: the narrow-minded see only the differences.
We are at times too ready to believe that the present is the only possible state of things.
The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.
We may have our private opinions but why should they be a bar to the meeting of hearts?
The recipe for perpetual ignorance is: Be satisfied with your opinions and content with your knowledge.
All empty souls tend toward extreme opinions.
William Butler Yeats
Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.
E. B. White