Then and Now: What’s Changed- #9 Working to Keep an Open Mind

When I was very young I had a very open mind and therefore could take information in very readily.  With age, experience, more knowledge, and with the realization that many people are just full of crap, it’s become a necessity to be discriminating in my sources of information.  There have been many times in the last few years that I pulled my perspective back from a situation I was in, receiving information from someone I should be listening to, and saw that I was being outright hard-headed.  That is a very strange experience because I see myself as an open-minded person.

Conversely, something happens as a person gains expertise (I’ll speak in the 3rd person to draw the attention away from myself- just humor me).  It’s a rewarding feeling to have the hard work “pay” off and to have some credibility.  Like many good things, it draws the ego into it slowly over time.  When things are gradual it’s easier to take things too far.  In this case this hypothetical person will move a little too far along the spectrum of confidence in his own knowledge and ability, edging into “know-it-all” territory.

Sometimes there are good reasons to ignore what a person says.  Other times there is not, but habit or ego makes a person hard headed.  It’s a good way to stall learning and get stuck in a swamp of stagnation.

This is another one of those things in life that requires balance.  It’s not worthwhile to listen to every “source” of information, but when the real deal presents itself, it behooves one to perk up the ears and listen carefully.  If balance is good, shooting is good, life is good- everything is good.  If balance is bad, better just pack up and go home.

One thought on “Then and Now: What’s Changed- #9 Working to Keep an Open Mind

  1. As I told my boy, young people have a great ability to learn but little experience; old people have a poor ability to learn but great experience. 🙂

    Politically, I have embraced Panarchy, which in turn makes it easy to keep an open mind because you are not invested in the need to get another to agree with you. Each can go his own way.

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