Thursday, January 31, 2008

An example of openmindedness

Today I want to celebrate openmindedness. I found a breathtaking example of it last night when trolling my friends on Facebook.

Not that the person isn't touching on a hot-button issue—she is. But her reporting of some information she found is so matter-of-fact it took my breath away. What it indicates to me is a person who is so comfortable entertaining new ideas that they don't even faze her; a person who looks at each issue fairly in the face and comes to her own conclusions.

The below is from my college-student friend Jen's notes in Facebook, posted here with her permission. I caution you, her comments may challenge you. I recommend spending a few moments clearing your own head and committing to reading it all without argument, just to get the sensation of how an open mind works. I know I had to read it a few times myself.

this is mostly a note to myself, but i might as well share it on fb while i'm at it. so i'm reading the anatomy of dependence by takeo doi for my capstone, and its totally awesome, and doi's talking about Japan's homosexual / homosocial society, and he cites a passage in kokoro by soseki where sensei tells the main character "you came to my place, a man of the same sex, as a stage on the way to making love with the other sex." from what i've studied, it was a fairly common belief in Japan, that seemed to be expressed a great deal in the 1910s and 20s, that homosexuality was a natural part of a person's sexual and emotional development. the homosexual phase of one's life usually occurred during adolescence, although the character in kokoro is a little bit older, emotionally he often seems to act like an adolescent. anyway, this belief was also often expressed in magazines for teen girls, and though i haven't studied anything about it, it might have been the same for boys. today i don't think this belief is quite so explicit, but it still pops up every so often, and of course stories about homosocial relationships are still very popular, especially those written for teen / 20 something women. stories about homosexual males are, as they were then, also very popular among young women.

alright, i'm getting really off topic now. the point i'm sort of trying to make is that [my religious college] says that homosexuality shouldn't be allowed, because unlike straight relationships that don't lead to marriage, gay ones don't even help people practice for marriage. the Japanese had/have? the opposite view, that homosexual relationships are very good, if not necessary, practice for marriage....so maybe we should take the Japaneses opinion.. or something... not that i think someone needs to absolutely have straight or gay relationships prior to marriage to have a good marriage.

ok, this is why this is just a note about stuff i'm thinking about when i should be working.

This is what she thinks about in her free time. This is why the rising generation will change the world.

My point in sharing this today is that in this mortal seeming, there are alternative explanations for everything, even those things we are certain we fully understand. As mortal existence rolls along, anything could turn out to be the truth as mortals consent to it. We don't really know what the "truth" is here. It could be anything.

To me, then, it's best to have an open mind, to be non-judgmental, and to be respectfully tolerant and accepting of another's point of view. It's the only way we have any hope of collectively uncovering Truth with a capital "T."


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4 Comments:

At 1/31/2008 10:32:00 AM, Blogger PtCakes said...

If you don't have an open mind you can't have an open heart.

 
At 1/31/2008 04:24:00 PM, Blogger Kate said...

I couldn't agree with you more Laura...Jen's openenss of thought gives me great hope...thank you for sharing...with Love, Kate

 
At 1/31/2008 06:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's much been written about open-mindedness, often in favor of it (the Jews 2000 years ago who were close-minded about the nature of God and rejected Jesus Christ; however, there are also warnings that having too much open mind about everything can lead to folly.
In this case, human sexuality, it is true that in our current culture there's a certain interest among young males in watching video of lesbian activity, which might be equivalent to your friend's comment about teen females being interested in male homosexuality.
I would attach a big HOWEVER to that comment. Keep an open mind and don't jump to conclusions based on incomplete evidence, esp. those conclusions that may be pushed from an agenda. From my observations, at least some of that interest has been encouraged by aspects of the media.
I'm in a large choral group right now and we're singing Mendelsohnn's (sp) ELIJAH. Remember that the Israelites in that story had been won over (through open mindedness) to worship Baal instead of the Lord God.
-ObiDon

 
At 2/03/2008 03:34:00 AM, Blogger ENS said...

Hello Laura!!! Thank you for your support. It's so good to hear from you! I hope all is well with you. I live in the Monterey area. It's about 5 hours north of LA. When are you coming to Cali? That would be pretty neat to meet you.

Take care,
Esther

 

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