On being open-minded

Being open-minded is considered a trait of the educated. Ironically though, the best lesson on it is to be had from the most uneducated of humans – babies.

I once picked up my little (1-year-old) nephew Golu and looked straight into his eyes. I asked him what his name was. “Golu,” he said. I then asked him why his name was not Bholu. Golu didn’t laugh. He didn’t even smile. Instead, he frowned a little and thought about the question. He was genuinely wondering why his name was not Bholu! That right there, ladies and gentlemen, is what is called being open-minded.

Being open-minded means showing respect to questions, and to ideas, regardless of where they came from, who expressed them, or even how stupid they sound.

When faced with an idea they think is laughable, many people refuse to even acknowledge it as an idea. They laugh it off, or label it ridiculous, or bat it away with sarcasm.

Golu would have thought hard about why his name was not Bholu, he would have asked his mom why his name was not Bholu, he would have definitely made some answer and you can rest assured the answer would have been the best he was in a position to give. The ideal open-minded person would treat all manner of questions as equal. He would treat physics, politics, philosophy, carpentry, knitting, and writing with equal respect. Though he might prefer one topic over others, he would never push a question away as unimportant.

It is the open-minded who learn the most in life.

Questions are of various kinds. But there are no questions higher and more important than others. To laugh a question off and call it unworthy of respect, is to indulge in discrimination of the mental kind.

#discussing, #open-minds, #people, #thinking