In the politically correct way of thinking, being open-minded means one accepts everything as equal and valid truth. Nobody’s wrong and everybody’s right. (Try using that logic when you pay your rent and see how far it gets you.) Often those who claim open-minded status are the most close-minded of all, with thinking that leads to an inability to identify, and act against, evil.
Dogmatic condemnation of those who dare to disagree is the favorite tool of the politically correct open-minded person. I wrote the other day about one minor dust up with someone so open-minded I could hear the door slam on her ability to think. In the politically correct world, open-mindedness leads to . Next thing you know, we’ve got more Hitlers depending upon a populace whose inability to think allows them to rise easily and bring evil power into homes, neighborhoods, states, countries, and businesses.
Cultivating open-mindedness takes a lot of time and work and thought and arguing with yourself and with the opinions of others. It means having the ability to see their side and argue for it, being able to identify the holes in it, determining the validity of those holes, and then changing your own actions and opinions if needs be.
It isn’t easy. Those with open-minds are not popular because they never preach pie-in-the-sky when that goes against personal responsibility. Bullies flat out hate the open-minded because bullies want others to believe blindly — they’re easier to lead. Those with open-minds are not so easily led.
However, for those who are open-minded, uncertainty is the discipline by which we approach all things. Uncertainty is our watchword. Our eyes are open. Just like those in the fields of quantum mechanics, we know we cannot doubt everything and function. At the same time, we know we cannot believe everything and survive. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that determining how to act under conditions of incomplete information — also called living in the gray — is the most urgent of all human pursuits because in our lives is guaranteed.
Quantum field theory knows that Nothing has force. Nothing is there in between the Things. It takes up space and has weight. It can collapse and expand. They know they cannot control Nothing and they know it exerts force on all Things. If you take out all the Nothing between all the Things, Things could not work.
Open-minds are the forceful Nothings between the dogmatic dialogues of business, politics, religion, and relationships. Open-minds write books that fly in the face of popular thought. Open-minds are the canaries in the mines of business and popular thought who are gasping for breath and holding up signs that say, “Gas levels are too high. Gotta get out now or else!” They invent new ways of doing things that benefit others. They solve problems.
This post was originally published November 21, 2015