I felt like I got punched in the face.
I was in rehab. I was arguing with one of the clients about religion. I was working this guy, pointing out all the hypocrisy and holes in his faith. I was really killing it.
Suddenly, my counselor quietly walked over to a chalk board and wrote on the board…
“I’d rather be happy than right.”
I’m not sure what it was about that moment, but it just hit me. All this time, I had been spending so much energy on telling people what they shouldn’t believe in. I put a lot of effort into it. In matters of faith and love and finance and relationships, I was determined to convince everyone why I knew it all. At that moment, I realized I had been a fool.
People who are comfortable with themselves, have no problem with other people’s beliefs or ideas. Aren’t those the men and women we are attracted to? Men and women who have that quiet confidence where they are able to listen to other people, absorb new ideas and be open minded and respectful towards other peoples?
These are the men and women I want to be like. These people understand themselves.
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”
“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
– George Bernard Shaw
“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.”
– Frank Zappa
“If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.”
“Every now and then a man’s mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation, and never shrinks back to its former dimensions.”
– Isaac Asimov
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.”
– Mark Twain
“It does take great maturity to understand that the opinion we are arguing for is merely the hypothesis we favor, necessarily imperfect, probably transitory, which only very limited minds can declare to be a certainty or a truth.”
– Milan Kundera
“Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won’t come in.”
– Alan Alda
“By all means let’s be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains pop out.”
– Richard Dawkins
“Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed.”
– Buddha Siddhartha
Moral of the story… be open minded. Just because you are open minded to someone else’s ideas doesn’t mean you have to accept them for you own. However, there is a great big world out there. You and I know so little in comparison to everything there is to understand. No one will ever understand it all, and those who claim they do are only doing themselves harm.
Let us be open to the beauty of the world.