“The more open-minded you are, the more you see the world as it actually is. The more closed-minded, the more you see the world as you want it to be.”
― Adeo Ressi, American entrepreneur and investor.
Please Join Us!
When: Friday, March 29 @ 1 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. GMT/10:30 p.m. IST)
Topic: Preserving Values Versus Closing Your Mind
About This Week’s Chat
I grew up under the apartheid regime in South Africa. Being a white child, living in a whites-only suburb and going to a school in the neighborhood, I didn’t have much social contact with children of other races. It was a given that, as a child, you didn’t have black friends, and this was expected to continue into your adulthood. I spent my childhood in this closed-minded world.
Choosing Your Friends
Fast-forward to the present and things have changed. South Africa has been a constitutional democracy since 1994, and I have the privilege of a multiracial friendship group. Unfortunately, though, things haven’t changed quite enough – not all my family members are happy that I have black friends.
Often the unhappy ones won’t say it directly. But their small remarks and throwaway comments make it clear as day how they feel. What they don’t understand is that I don’t choose my friends based on skin color. What’s important to me is that we can laugh and learn together, and be there for one another.
Recently, at a family get-together, one of my family members made an inappropriate race-based comment. As much as I wanted to avoid any confrontation, I felt it would have been wrong not to challenge them.
I generally find that most people are open-minded enough to question their own assumptions. But, about five minutes into this conversation, I realized that this person was so narrow-minded, he could look through a keyhole with both eyes at the same time!
When I asked him why he felt that way, he said it was because he had strong values and a deep appreciation for his own culture. So, in a nonconfrontational tone, I asked him, “What are your top 10 most important values in life?” Here’s the interesting part: he couldn’t even tell me his top five!
He based his whole argument on ego (being right) and not on values, so I proceeded to ask him which elements of our culture were significant to him, and why. He named a few of them, but the best “why” he came up with was, “Because that’s how I grew up.”
Preserving Values Versus Closing Your Mind
I was sad that my family member held on to his outdated views, but I was glad that I stood up for my own values, instead of keeping quiet.
Sometimes we have legitimate reasons for wanting to preserve our values. But sometimes we might be suffering from a closed mind. Closing your mind might feel like a more comfortable option than admitting you’re wrong, or that you held on to a flawed belief for many years.
Our topic for this week’s #MTtalk Twitter chat is “Preserving Values Versus Closing Your Mind.” In our Twitter poll, we asked: “In which situations have you found yourself to be more closed-minded than you normally are?”
The results were fascinating! Only five percent of participants chose “When coping with change,” while the winning option (with 45 percent) was “If you dislike someone.”
We’d love you to participate in the chat on Friday, and the following questions may spark some thoughts in preparation for it:
• What does preserving your values mean to you in practice?
• What are the benefits of preserving your values?
• Are preserving your values and being open-minded mutually exclusive?
• How do you know the difference between being closed-minded and preserving your values?
• In what situations are you more likely to be closed-minded?
• How can you preserve your values and be open-minded?
• Do you think it’s necessary to close your mind sometimes?
To help you prepare for the chat, we’ve compiled a list of resources for you to browse.
How To Join
Follow us on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action this Friday! We’ll be tweeting out 10 questions during our hour-long chat.
To participate in the chat, type #MTtalk in the Twitter search function. Then, click on “Latest” or “All Tweets” and you’ll be able to follow the live chat feed. You can join the chat by using the hashtag #MTtalk in your responses.