Open-Mindedness is the most important quality for a person. Right about now, if you oppose to that statement so vehemently, it pretty much shows how open-minded you actually are. How open-minded you are, however, isn’t about whether you agree with the said statement or you blatantly disagree, it is more about receptiveness and acceptance; being receptive of and accepting the different perspectives of the diverse 7 billion world population. That being said, you, of course, will not be met literally with 7 billion different perspectives. Research has generously shown that you’ll encounter at most a 100,000 people in your lifetime if you lived up till 90. That is to say, you’ll meet even lesser if you lived till the average age of 75 for males and 80 for females (Encountering: means to meet face-to-face and being able to recognise, however momentarily short). Point being you will be faced with that many different perspectives in your entire life.
So back onto the topic: Open-mindedness is how welcoming you are of different perspectives.
I like to think that Perspective = Upbringing + Environment + Personalities + Experiences. So, it goes to show that no one person can have exactly the same perspective as the other as the combinations are truly limitless; our perspective is ours alone. Also, it shows that limiting your own experiences (one among the others which you have full control over) limits your perspective.
Nonetheless, what we tend to do instead is to wrongly chide others when what they think of a certain matter doesn’t correspond to what we perceive. Basically, we often think there is only one way to things; and that is our way. However, as I grew older, I found out that it wasn’t the case.
When I was younger, I used to think that my opinion was definite and everyone else’s was bull. Yes, that was me when I was younger. But when I entered college, I somehow learnt that each and every one of us is different and the younger-me was a shitty person with a shitty mindset. I started being more open and receptive to new ideas, views and opinions. Initially, it was difficult to kick the habit of ‘my view is absolute’. However, with enough patience, resolve and practice, I successfully rid myself of the judgemental mind I had (although I wouldn’t say that I’m now a 100% liberal person). I stopped putting people down just because their views differ from mine. I respected what they said and instead, debated with rather than dismissing them.
Being open-minded is a choice you have to make for yourself. Choosing not to be open-minded is like — as far as I can tell — restricting yourself from personal growth. If you only allow yourself to see the world as you see it; not giving a shit about what other people may think about matters, then you are as good as living life in solitary because no good will be done unto you when you interact with others.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
We all have different upbringings and experiences that shaped who we are today, and for that reason, we must know that no one person thinks exactly like us. Therefore, when a person speaks, do not put him/ her down immediately but instead I suggest that you listen (and listen genuinely) to them, and try to see through their eyes and understand, understand where they are actually coming from.