The open-minded see the truth in different things: the narrow-minded see only the differences. Author Unknown
A narrow mind begets obstinacy; we do not easily believe what we cannot see. John Dryden
People are very open-minded about new things – as long as they’re exactly like the old ones. Charles Kettering
Narrow-mindedness is a form of self-induced imprisonment. It restricts us from developing our potential. Everything that has ever happened and will ever happen, combine to make us what we are as well as what we are becoming. As far as we know there are virtually no limits to what we are capable of learning and becoming. The human mind seems almost unlimited in its capabilities. It follows that the more we see, do, learn and experience; the more we are stretching, growing, and becoming. When we close our mind to new opportunities and experiences we miss out on new things to learn. All of our potential inputs are like super foods or powerful fertilizer. They feed us rich nutrients and cause us to grow.
Closing our mind and being narrow-minded is self-deprivation. It limits our inputs. We naturally fear that which we do not know or have not experienced. We are more comfortable inside the comfort zone of what we already know. Often much of what we think we know and believe is erred and flawed. It is based on limited information, bad assumptions and misconceptions. Old beliefs, such as the earth being the center of the universe, the earth being flat instead, or one race or gender being superior to another are examples of closed-minded ignorance. We should be glad and thankful for experiences that reveal new truths to flawed thinking. Open-mindedness allows the opportunity to investigate and find out new truths
We fear the pain that may be waiting us as we have new experiences. It is not necessarily physical pain; it is mental and emotional pain that comes when we wrestle with new things, from difficulties in dealing with our preconceived notions or when faced with the possibility of having to leave our mistaken beliefs behind. “No pain, no gain” is a truth that fits most of us; a truth we do not necessarily embrace. Fear of the unknown keeps us inside our comfort zone. We fear damaging our self-esteem and well-being. We not only fear the unpleasant, we may fear pleasant experiences. Many of us even fear success, as well. In many ways we are cowardly. These things cause us mental pain of knowing we need to grow and raise expectations. We must open the door of our minds and allow new truths and new experiences to enlighten us. The sign on this door reads “PUSH”.
Challenge: How narrow-minded are you? Challenge yourself to venture out of your comfort zone. Take on something you have been avoiding. Open up your thinking. Relish and enjoy the experience. Take it all in. Enjoy the learning experience and the opportunity for growth. Keep things in perspective. Review and examine the experience. Where were you wrong in your thinking? Use this experience to be more open-minded in the future?
Wisdom: We grow by leaving behind our comfortable old beliefs. Meredith Young-Sowers
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5
The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130
Some of the most narrow-minded people in the world are those who claim to be very religious. It is ironic how we can encase ourselves in rigid thinking and think we are being spiritually-minded. A good approach for discerning when our thinking is ‘off-base’ is the ‘love’ test. When we are exposed to things that challenge our thinking and beliefs, we should rely on a spirit of love. With love in our hears we are more able to discern truths
Prayer: Help me to not fear the day’s opportunities and challenges. I have you to guide me through them.