9.29.2016

The Importance and Scarcity of Truly Open Minds

I've banged on this drum a lot in this space, but this election cycle and other current events keep putting this issue on my chest.  I get that social media is a platform for proclaiming; indeed, that's most of how I use it, as evidenced by two blogs and countless posts. 

But, as the name suggests, it can also be a great platform for social interaction and social discourse.  And, by their nature, interaction and discourse means more than just one-way communication, and more than just preaching to the choir and having the choir say "amen." 

I get that we feel strongly about our candidate, about racism, about economic justice, about whatever our pet issues are.  We should.  But if all we have in our pockets is megaphones to blare the opinion we already have, and we filter all new information through our own pre-determined lenses, and we never stop to take in different perspectives, and we engage only with those who agree with us (and actively block anyone with the audacity to think differently than we do), then where is the growth and the stretching and the coalition-building and the empathy? 

We quibble with Congress for being divided when we the people who they represent are just as factious.  We tsk-tsk judges for having a bias and not giving the other side to make their case, and yet we do this all the time.  We congratulate ourselves for being more enlightened than the other side, and in doing so act in a very unenlightened manner by not keeping an open mind to the perspective of the other side.  Shame on us.
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