I try to be. At least, I pretend to try. In reality, I read things that sort of challenge my preconceived notions while deliberately dismissing anything that really challenges them as stupid or a waste of time. This is because, like most people, I like to be comfortable. I enjoy being able to return to things I think I know, and to make choices based on my worldview. But what if my worldview is all wrong? Well, I just don’t want to think about it.
My lack of open-mindedness also causes me to ignore things that would otherwise interest me were they about a different subject. I’ll provide an example, since that doesn’t really make sense.
I really hate the way millennials type. Really, I have a visceral reaction to everything they do (I speak as if I’m not one), but the typing particularly bothers me.
okay so honestly they all type like this on twitter and it’s Really Important to type This Way so you can identify yourself as Woke and Progressive and if you don’t then honestly what are you even doing thank you for coming to my ted talk
This fills me with rage. I’m not exaggerating, and I’m not proud of that fact. But the other day, I came across a fascinating article on the deliberate style with which millennials type. There’s a complex ruleset dealing with every typical syntaxical element.
Normally, this would have been of great interest to me. But because it was about millennial typing—top five in my list of least favorite petty things—I brushed it aside and said it was dumb.
That’s the definition of closed-minded. I would have read that article if it was about AAVE (ebonics) and the various rules, or the differences between southern English and standard English. But I couldn’t read this, because even though it was interesting, it dealt with something I dislike.
This realization coincided nicely with the new Praxis module, which is all about philosophy and history. This week is all about how you’re wrong, how to be okay with that, and how to expand your horizons. So today, I commit to following that advice. I will read that article, and others, too. Instead of researching an author before reading a piece and judging its worth that way, I’ll read the piece first, see how much I like it, and research the author later. Who cares if they’re a dishonest crackpot with an agenda? I’m certain I could still learn something from them.