People always have opinions about things. And sometimes, small talk about certain issue can turn into a heated debate with no way out, no end, and none wants to give in. We become the center of our own personal universe and we define our own definitive truths. We form opinions and become steadfast in them. We assume that our opinion is the most reasonable one that needs to be stated and be heard. We want others to agree with us, but we don’t even want to consider other’s view and perspective. But who can blame us, though? We only live one life, one perspective. And I kinda hate to say this but it’s somehow humanly.
I’m pretty much used to having a diametrically opposed point of view with my friends, or even my parents in certain sense. My former lover once cautioned me that I’m too open-minded, liberal, and a little lack of religious. That way of thinking could endanger me because it would make me easily provoked. Really? Is that it?
Back to my early year of college, I met many people who came from different city, with different culture, beliefs, and political views as well. Each one of them brought variety of traits in a way that was at first kinda hard for me to adjust. I also made friends outside my campus. To my surprise, some of them are the ones that I never thought I’d be friends with. Some of them didn’t come from the majority groups (muslim, straight, you know that) but from minority group that most people believe should be avoided for its bad influence or anything for me. But as you can see, I’m still the same person from the day one I knew them until the moment I write this. My sexual orientation is still straight even I’m friends with LGBTQ. I’m still a muslim even some of my friends are agnostic or atheist. The only thing that changed was that I became more tolerable than before when it comes to different opinion, idea, belief, political view, sexual orientation, gender preferences, etc. I’m not easily provoked nor did they try to provoke me in any way. Instead, they taught me to be more open-minded.
Being open-minded doesn’t mean accepting every new idea. It doesn’t equal with easily provoked nor does it agree with every statement. We have standard. We question things. We even disagree too sometimes. Being open-minded merely means that we’re willing to accept that others have the right to have a difference in opinion, that we want to consider other’s view and give them a hearing, take what might be good and leave what’s bad without having to judge or even hate the person who don’t share the same idea.
We’re all raised differently and taught how to defend ourselves in various ways, so we can’t expect to agree on everything when we weren’t taught the same way. People have grown up under a wide variety of circumstances that have influenced their choices. Who am I to assume that everybody has been brought up under similar influences and circumstances as I have? And not everyone shares my religious beliefs, my values, my political views, my definitions of what is right or wrong, so who am I to judge?
Not everyone holds the same views and just because they believe something else doesn’t mean we can’t respectfully agree to disagree. Instead of degrading or hating on the people that don’t agree with you, take their opinion and agree to disagree with it. Just because something may not match with how you think, that doesn’t make the other person wrong. We can actually learn a thing or two from others opinions and it may help us to grow as individuals. As I grow older, I’ve met many people and exposed to new idea and I also know that this world isn’t only filled with black and white. There are so many room for grey and other colors.
Open-minded is a character I wish to have in me. In fact that’s an important trait that we, human beings, should have. I’m not so open-minded like what some people assume. Or maybe I’m never so open-minded after all. My brain is oftentimes filled with judgement for the people who don’t seem to fit my personal definition of normal vs. abnormal or good vs. bad. Now I’m still working to sharpen my ability to truly understand other people’s perspective so y’all can talk to me about everything openly and I won’t judge you.