Being open-minded promotes understanding and is necessary for critical thinking.
It helps you to take into account all factors that might be affecting a situation. It is one of the factors that protect against dogmatism and polarisation.
Being open-minded can be tricky, especially if we have grown up defending our worldview and opinions within our family of origin. It is also problematic if our trauma has been triggered and we are feeling unsafe in any way – as so many people are during this pandemic.
I wonder how we can continue to have meaningful conversations around what is happening in this pandemic whilst holding space and empathy for the ‘other side”, whatever that might be.
Can we ask questions about another person’s point of view without shaming, ridiculing, going into intellectual battle, being overly critical, or becoming explosive? Can we ask questions and take a moment to stand in someone else’s shoes and see the world through their eyes? This is the definition of empathy and contributes to open-mindedness.
How can we have differing viewpoints and stay connected to each other?
A helpful comment could be something like:
“We can still be close and not agree on this particular issue. Because we disagree on this topic doesn’t mean there is any less love between us.”
Let me know if you would like to see more empathy, open-mindedness, and less polarisation.