Help Me Understand

I need help understanding why some are incapable of exchanging points of view without making a personal attack. Why do so many lack the ability to debate without hate? Why are some of us born with open minds while others simply switch off at suggestions of  different points of view? How is it that some people repeat only what they hear, never stopping to ponder logic or offer opinions of their own? What triggers the closing of minds –  ignites suspicion, fear, bigotry and exclusion? Help me understand.

Strong opinions from politics, religion, environment to my silly dog; I make myself abundantly clear – writing from the heart without mincing words. No intention, other than matching word to thought.. What you see is what you get; this is who I am. Along the way I’ve met people with vastly different viewpoints – people who present their side of an issue thoughtfully, concisely and without malice. People I respect and consider friends, people willing to “agree to disagree”.  This I understand.

I encounter closed minds – those wishing myself or family harm; people full of hatred. These are the people quoting opinionated broadcasters verbatim, people choosing to spew unsubstantiated rhetoric, people without an original thought or perspective to cloud their venom. Help me understand.

If I didn’t possess a fundamental belief in humanity, my ability to function without despair would have collapsed years ago. I shake my head, scrape my jaw off the ground and carry on. That said – at times the weight of closed minds becomes unbearable. Help me understand – what would it take to strip the blinders from millions of scared, angry people?

10 thoughts on “Help Me Understand

  1. Another head scratching post. I don’t believe people are born with open or shut minds I think it is either a learned response or the way they were brought up. I don’t think you can ever ponder your way out of this one. I wouldn’t even argue with them, they simply aren’t worth your time or the headache it probably gives you. Just delete their comments and move on 🙂

  2. Well now this leaves me pondering for sure. In the past 24 hours i have stopped following 3 bloggers. I did this because I do not agree with most of what they post on their blogs. Their stuff is primarily what i have heard for years, i saw no new insightful statements in their blogs. Does this make me close minded? And on the side of the coin my blog with a strong left leaning political slant may appear the same to those on the right. If they refuse to read me, does that make them close minded?
    Too deep for this old cynic to ponder much longer. ???? 🙂
    must move on .

    • You’re right of course – people with vastly different political or religious viewpoints likely shake their heads in disbelief at some of what we write. That said, it is possible to exchange ideas or beliefs “agree to disagree” and move on with no hard feelings. That is “open minded” These people are able to give reasons – even if I disagree with them – they come from these individuals, not empty headed recitals of Fox news “opinion”.

      Close minded are those who can’t back up their statements because they haven’t an original thought in their heads. People who turn debate into personal attacks – not of an idea, but the person.Close minded people expect all people to see things the way they do, are incapable of recognizing – they spread hate. People who scream at the top of their lungs about defending the constitution – failing to see they’re destroying fundamental freedoms.People who see “freedom of religion” as free to worship only the Christian God – or else! These are the ones who tell me to “go kill some babies” or “I hope someone close to you is murdered” because of my pro-choice beliefs. That is a bat shit crazy closed mind.

      I believe my mind would be closed if I stopped exchanges with reasonable people of opposing views – in the end my point of view isn’t likely to change but exchanging ideas and working past differences will ultimately make the world a better place.For me – it doesn’t matter one iota what religious or political perspective another person has – provided there is mutual respect.

      As for the ugly, venomous closed minds – I don’t give them the time of day.They waste my time and most certainly will never change. Honestly – i wish people would stop baiting or arguing with them.It serves no purpose.Only by ignoring stupidity can it be nipped in the bud – closed minds are minds of bullies – I have no time for bullies 🙂

  3. An open mind pre-supposes that your own point of view could be incorrect.

    Some people simply cannot deal with uncertainty about things they feel strongly about. Rather than being a sign of strength it’s actually a sign of weakness to be so insecure about you’re own world view as to be incapable of allowing others THEIR own world view.


  4. It’s a matter of perception. I see things one way and believe I’m right; you see things another way and believe you’re right. Based on all the recent news I think more people should change their political leanings, but that has not happened. Some people repeatedly vote the same way without knowing why, using the line, “That’s the way it’s always been.” That is being closed-minded. Disagreeing with someone is not necessarily hate.
    Our debate ended purely for the reason it was a waste of time. The fact I don’t say much now has nothing to do with hate. I have not been well and have 800 emails to get through on any given day. There simply is no time to continue a debate that goes absolutely nowhere. I enjoyed it because it gave me a better understanding of why I feel the way I do, and reaffirmed my beliefs.

    • I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my ponderings. Believe it or not – agree or disagree – I value your input.

      I don’t believe for an instant that disagreeing with another’s point of view is a sign of hate – our world would be incredibly dull if we all saw things the same way.”Hate” only enters the picture when we judge another based purely on perception. By that I mean – it’s “hateful” to discount someone simply because they have a different faith, “colour”, or political affiliation.
      We will never in a million years agree on religion or politics – that doesn’t make the slightest difference to me. I believe everyone has a right to their point of view – my knickers only get twisted when my opinion on those subjects are used to categorize me as something nasty. There are so many other important things to discuss 🙂

  5. Ya know, the older I get the more my attitude on this shifts. I used to wish there were a way to change that tendency. Now, I just want nothing to do with those people. I have finally come to accept that they do exist and will always exist; and now I’m struggling with myself to say, “I don’t give a damn,” but just keep them out of my life. I used to tell my wife that I expected there to be more order i the universe than there is — but it’s not the UNIVERSE that is unordered — it is humans who do the illogical, the spiteful, the destructive. And so I am, unabashedly, a hermit. 🙂

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