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Dyed All Hues

Thinker and Experimenter,

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To what extent are you "Open-Minded" when it comes to a topic you dislike or hate the most? Can you change or accept the fact of it?

I think that being open-minded is taking other peoples ideas, such as the whole concept of TedTalks. It is for me to read/hear/watch others actions/words/written pieces/creations for achieving open-mindedness. I do have certain topics I have difficulty talking about, but I want to be able to accept and see their side of the world as well. For instance, religion is very interesting, but when someone says their ideal religion is the best and you must become one of us, I have a hard time talking to these people, but I try as best I can to hear them out. Sometimes I lose my composure, but I usually want to hear their claims for their beliefs. I also challenge their mindset at the same time.

I want to understand your strong dislikes as well as your capacity to sit and talk about this "dislike". Do we fear nothing, but fear itself, or is there much more to it?

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    Mar 20 2012: At the end, it's all about respect of someone else opinion, ideas, culture....I

    It's like anything else. You may not agree with your lover, husband, wife, children...you still love them and care for them...

    People who can not respect difference of opinions, are probably insecure, or don't know any better. The importance, is not to impose your ways, views upon someone that don't agree with you.

    EXPRESS YOURSELF PEOPLE, FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING YOUR POINT, not being RIGHT at all cost!

    Cheers,
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      Mar 21 2012: Yes, very true, but what happens if you are beyond a doubt right? Do you let the other individual continue life the way they are currently or do you just look past that and set your own expectancy aside?
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        Mar 21 2012: Well Derek, if you know that you're right about something, what's the point of trying to convince someone else. The truth is for you, not for the other person.

        On the other hand, if your in school and a teacher is explaining something to the class, and a student choose to not agreeing with what the teacher said...this is his right, but at the of the school year, this student will lost points, for sure...to his disadvantage obviously!

        Sometimes, like you suggested, "just look past that..." Eventually this person, will think about this and will say to himself, " I remember that Derek talk to me about this once, and he was right".

        Take the example a baby, this is in his nature to contradict, or saying "no" to anything...when you tell him to not touch fire, he will do the opposite, until he get burn...and will start to cry like a "baby", but you and I know, that he will never do it again...

        Peace !!
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          Mar 22 2012: Ah...what if this issue was in public and the issue was more of a civil rights issue for equality?

          Example, you walk down the street and you see someone of your own race, completely degrading the other individual on the basis of gender, race, orientation, belief, etc., would you say a few words to try and convince that person?
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        Mar 22 2012: I would say than Derek, is more about your belief at this point. If deep down in your heart, you really believe that you have to tell something to that person, you should at all cost, because you will feel bad for a long time, because you did not listen to your guts feeling!

        As for your example, I would probably approach the person that's being degrated, instead of the person that's doing the wrong. Two things will come out from this :
        1. You will probably get not beat up and/or get into a fight with the person that's doing the insults.
        2. By approaching the "victim" sort of speak, this person will see and learn in the same time, that's not all people of your "race" are the same, and I'm sure the people that are just standing there, will approve your gesture, and come and help. Trust me, this "bad person" will be feeling worthless.

        Another thing, don't try to convince someone whose angry, that's insulting others etc., they are not worth your time, your energy or your words.

        Cheers
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          Mar 22 2012: Ah...interesting perspective. I love this forum! It always gives me new knowledge of how functions can be changed.

          I actually see the reasoning for approaching the victim. I guess as a stranger, looking in on the outside of the situation above. I thought that I could avert the angry persons emotions and have it directed to me, so I could let the "victim" escape, but talking to the reverse of the situation is definitely more of an approachable scenario, where there is less of a chance for anyone to get hurt.

          Thanks. =)
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    Mar 17 2012: I agree with both of you. I love TED for the amazing questions and the diversity to views expressed. I love having my opinion changed by someone else's point of view I haven't previously considered. However, I get mad when people are rude personally about contributors, or about their opinions expressed simply because they are different from their own strongly held world view - be it concerning politics, religion, relationships etc. Most TEDsters are positive, well informed, rational people - but there are some bigots around as well. The "I'm right, you're wrong" ranters. I try not to respond. Wikipedia states...

    "Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. described bigots with the following quote: "The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract."
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      Mar 18 2012: HAHAHA! That is a great quote, I'm going to bank that in my brain. :-D
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    Mar 17 2012: I have difficulty with extremist views, because their roots are usually buried deep in a system of belief. Beliefs are immovable and tenuously stand their ground in spite of reason. Those who hold such beliefs often do not even attempt to understand the views of others.

    Lamentably, it seems to be in our nature to oppose something by taking a polarized stance against it. It then becomes belief versus belief - both unwilling to move, or to understand. Fundamental atheism has developed as a polarized stance against religion. Feminism has developed as a polarized stance against the male dominated society. The opposing stance thus becomes just as dysfunctional as the thing it tries to oppose - it simply does not work, and makes matters infinitely worse.

    I am not always successful, but I try to take a position at the mid-point, between two opposing factions in a topic I am uncomfortable with. By placing myself there, I figure that I am in a better position to communicate and to understand both sides.

    This seems to be the best place from which to oppose something and to make a topic comfortable enough for intelligent discussion, instead of the all too common descent into stone-throwing.
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      Mar 17 2012: Yes, yes, yes, exactly.
      The middle ground can sometimes be difficult to spot out without that previous skill of critical thinking though. I have difficulty currently, finding the middle ground when I have my emotions invested in the issue. It is very difficult, but do you have tactics to remove yourself if your are deeply invested in a sticky situation?
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        Mar 18 2012: Hi Derek - The emotional investment issue is indeed a difficult thing to moderate. I have difficulties with it myself.

        I guess the first thing is to try and identify the degree of emotional investment one has in a particular issue, and whether it goes way beyond its brief, so to speak, into a personal belief (I think high emotional investment can be a precursor to belief).

        If I recognise it happening to me in a sticky situation, I try to force myself into a position of congruence (putting myself in another person's shoes), so I might gain at least a little understanding of a view that potentially opposes my own. It is not always easy!

        My work depends on an ability to do this (I am a counsellor) and when it works, it works well.
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          Mar 20 2012: Amazing advice! Thank you Mr. Macdougall.

          Emotions can be good, but sometimes I wish there was an on/off switch for them, then everyone would be great problem solvers, I think?

          Sometimes, I find myself trying someone elses "shoes", which could transcend the understanding even more, but of course only the ones you see reasonable. =)
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    Mar 17 2012: I have worked diligently to construct a Happy Place in my mind where nothing contrary to my personal preferences and beliefs ever happens. I like to go there often. I would like to live there but I live in 21st century America, on planet Earth. If I spend too much time in Happy Place my connection with Earth becomes tenuous. So I have learned to endure contact with contrary examples (Democrats; Yankee fans; etc.) of behaviour and belief by trying to understand them. It can be a learning experience even though exasperating. I think I would never leave Happy Place if I didn't enjoy trying to understand the weirdos (anyone who disgrees with me) of Earth. The result of examining other beliefs and styles is that I accept them, or change mine and don't need to flee to Happy Place so often. Good question young Mr. Young.
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      Mar 17 2012: Thank You, but how could you conclude I'm young, if I didn't reference my age or have a picture of myself? ;)

      LOL, you have a funny way of putting a very interesting fact into perspective. I so wish I had the current skills to build my Happy Place, but too bad I am not yet economically sound enough or possibly mentally ready as well.

      If you were able to draw the whole image of your Happy Place, what would that place look like? =)
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        Mar 18 2012: It looks like a Maxfield Parrish painting of Love; Joy; Peace; Longsuffering; Gentleness; Goodness; Faith; Meekness; and Temperance. A place where everyone considers the welfare of others before their own. There is no Adultery; Fornication; Uncleanness; Lasciviousness; Idolatry; Witchcraft; Hatred; Variance; Emulations; Wrath; Strife; Seditions; Heresies; Envyings; Murders; Drunkenness; Revellings and such.
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          Mar 18 2012: So it is a vast space of just nature, where your mind is blank, except for bliss? I'm jealous.

          I googled Maxfield Parrish, and his art is really spectacular, like a scene from the sound of music as they traverse through the mountain to avoid the nazis. I haven't seen pictures with such bright hues before. My view of art has been reshaped. Thank you for that. =)
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    Mar 21 2012: Great point Mireille!
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    Mar 20 2012: I am an open-minded person, even to that extent that I love listening to the point of views of the people whose opinions or lifestyle completely differ from mine. I only lose my cool when a person I am speaking with starts to stubbornly impose their views on me or when they insult me personally or my intelligence. Only than, I don't argue, I just stop the conversation or change its course.
    I am not trying to sound elitist or plain mean, but there is a lot of truth in this quote: '' Don't waste your time trying to learn pig how to sing opera. You will just lose your precious time and pig will lose its temper. '' Cheers
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      Mar 21 2012: HAHAHA! "PIG" reference to the animal or an actual language?

      I totally get how you can feel when someone is imposing their views on others, but partially, some friendly advice or debates can help reshape someone elses narrow-mindedness. Though, most of the times they are too stubborn and unwavering to think outside of their comfort zones.
  • Mar 18 2012: My life has been about seeking out various things, including a religious belief that "I" am comfortable with. Over the years I have learned to accept many aspects of life including how others live in other countries & right here in USA.
    I am out spoken but I don't shout. I take the middle ground whenever I can & stand aside when I can't.
    I am also glad we all are different & each of us has a place in this world.
    There can be no day unless you have a night.
    My concern is for all living things & learn from each one.
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      Mar 20 2012: That is very much a mentality worth adapting for others, but many are too busy being self-centric to realise that everyone needs to work together and not continue fighting for no reason, but reasons of the State.
  • Mar 17 2012: Derek, As you know there are many opinions among people everywhere. And you introduce yourself as a thinker and experimenter. This is a good combination.

    Normal is what a person accepts in behavior, routine, procedure, and values in everyday life. Abnormal is something out of the ordinary for any topic or aspect of life----as you experience life.

    Open mindedness is a willingness to search for and be ready to research or consider what is not normal, at least within ones experience.

    People are subject to emotion and this cannot be separated from life, including religion. Have you noticed that some preachers are willing to use excitement, high emotion, light and sound invigoration to stir emotional responses for what they want to teach? And people are willing to hang all their soul on excitement and call their doctrine so built on emotional responses as their religion. I maintain that most people do not really know what is their religion. They know doctrine and teachings, but they have not thoroughly considered WHO they worship. People are willing to evangelize based on what they believe to be true and are wanting you to opt in. Has anyone really considered what you believe? Has anyone really attempted to lead an attractive life that you see is good and would like to include in your life----or religion?

    You have nothing to fear if you truly seek higher values and adopt them into your life. You can be open and still think about what you've seen from others as being good.

    There are truth seekers and there are evidence seekers. We can be both simultaneously. A truth seeker suspects more and seeks to find what he feels could be true. An evidence seeker looks for support for a current posit, or looks for evidence there must be more!

    Mindset can be good or detrimental. A gracious person will offer his best understanding upon request, but yet be open to new possibilities.

    You have a good topic going here!
    Peace,
    MK
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      Mar 17 2012: Thank You Mark! I was delighted to see your thorough answer. Would you say that you reach a place in your life that you eventually are either completely open-minded and can talk of any topic or completely close-minded to anything outside of your already complacent ideas or is that existent only in an extreme world?
      • Mar 17 2012: Derek, I have seen people who were gracious listeners who would listen to what is said and thoughtfully consider value or truth. It seems this is their life style: to listen for what is better than what they have known. I have also seen people who are very closed, very confident in their beliefs and therefore have no room for other possibilities.

        A great teacher has said that a good teacher must also be a student and be open to learning. As I am beginning to see everything in life includes some degree of relationship. Everything. If we want to relate well we will realize somebody knows something we don't know and this includes science and religion. Who would be so arrogant as to say to all he knows everything?

        As I see it, curiosity is one of life's greatest gifts! Think about this please. How could we explain growth of anything man has done without man being curious? All of mankind's progress is based on many factors, but being curious enough to go in search of truth is vital for any individual and for humanity.

        I can't stand on a stage or orange crate and claim to know all. Therefore your knowledge is just as important to me as anything I can share with you. Being open then, is a way of growth for anyone.

        Impossible is not in my vocabulary when I have faith in the Mysterious One and His will prevails. This leads to a good question: How can one be faithful and simultaneously closed minded?

        We can either learn from one another or closet ourselves in arrogance and darkening relations. Open mindedness leads to good listening and this leads to better friendships.

        Enjoy life while learning from everyone! Reach for the better way!
        Peace,
        MK
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          Mar 17 2012: As the saying goes, it takes two to tango, and teaching is a great way of learning as well.
          Try as I may, thick headed individuals who can't seem to open their minds, I believe have their history or reasons, but they should at least be aware of their own closed-mindedness.
          Curiosity is my snack for life! =)
          I love this forum!!
          Thank you Mark
  • Mar 24 2012: If someone is that insistant about their idea being the only correct one, then I feel obligated to defend the other side equally, even if its not quite what I believe. I think information should be shared. However, I tend to avoid those 'religion talks' as they never end well...
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      Mar 30 2012: I can very much understand your ideas and I agree. Have you ever gave something a chance, like attempt to understand those 'religious talks'?
      • Mar 31 2012: I do understand and respect them. I respect anything that gives people a reason to be there best. I respect the comfort they find in answers to the mysterious questions of the universe and am envious that they can find comfort in the most devistating times through their faith. however, I was not brought up to believe and I also have my seperate views, which should be equilly respected. My strongest belief being that good things don't just happen to good people, although being 'good' can build bridges to rescources needed, but the bottom line is that you have to make things happen.
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          Apr 1 2012: It can be so difficult in the beginning when your paradigm of the world seems so narrow, but opening up to the possibilities is exhilerating. I do have a hard time grasping the concept of blind faith and a bit envious as well, but also a bit entertained that faith can represent anything and not necessarily religion. I like to know and understand things, so religion is something that can be known and understood, but to me doesn't really connect by faith the same way it does others. It seems as though it is so abstract, but it can create a "magical" effect. I do dislike extremisms though, because that to me is extreme narrow-mindedness.
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    Mar 21 2012: Thank you. :)