Phaytea’s Pulse is participating in the #AtoZChallenge for 2017. The Theme is ‘Awakening of Self’ and ‘Being Broad-minded (with bouts of doubt)’ is our entry for letter B. The theme focuses on character traits that will gear us towards Meaningful Living and will run for 26 days in April except sundays. Please stop by the blog everyday for subsequent posts as we read the 26 letters of the alphabet together. Enjoy!!☺☺
The first time I consciously checked the dictionary for the meaning of ‘Broad-minded’ was after I had an encounter with a lecturer in my first year in the university. A group of students and i had gone to him to confirm our registration for his course.
The said lecturer was always stern with students and he had a victim when we arrived. I heard the lecturer call him myopic and was asking why the student did not think outside the box. Apparently, he had written an essay that was one-sided. (In his words, the essay lacked insight).
He went ahead to give everyone a crash lecture on why we should be broad-minded if we wanted to do well in the university. I made a mental note to check the meaning of ‘myopic’ and ‘broad-minded’ and I agree with him- to get the best out of our goals we should be broad-minded but have bouts of doubt here and there. I added ’bouts of doubt’ because if you are like me you will question everything.
As humans, we like to stick to the story we know better, the experiences we have had or the media coverage of a place or issue.
This is dangerous because it limits our chance to gain more knowledge. While we like to say, ‘Experience is the best teacher’ we need to also acknowledge that we all have different experiences (or way of doing things) which may give the same result or give a totally different one.
This is why I never understand when someone tries to ‘enforce’ his/her opinion(s) on me. I mean, I have my opinion and you have yours. The best we can do is to reach a ‘healthy agreement’.
However, we can only reach a healthy agreement when we are open-minded. Being Broad-minded allows us to understand, respect and accept other people’s view.
This is very important if we intend to achieve success as a team or as an individual. In life, there will always be people who think differently, people who do not share the same sentiments as us and the way we respond shows how much control we have of our thought process.
The truth is, we cannot go around arguing with everyone who has a theory that is different from ours. Situations like this have caused altercation between friends, in relationships and even in the workplace.
Here are some reasons why we should be receptive to other people’s behaviour and opinion:
- Being broad-minded keeps you away from unnecessary conflict: I have seen and heard people quarrel over conflicting opinions. This can be contained if we accept the fact that we will always have different opinions. A healthy agreement is always encouraged. My Pandora’s Box: Honestly, I try to be broad-minded, but I will argue if you try to ‘enforce’ your theory on me and fail to understand that I have my ‘own’ opinion. Nobody enjoys accepting an opinion by force. True?
- You have a better relationship with people: When we are broad-minded, we understand people better, tolerate their behaviour and even have the patience to explain things clearly. You can always find a common ground.
- It makes you a good listener: The willingness to accept ideas means you are ready to listen. You talk less and listen more.
- Keeps you informed and you get more facts to work with: Since we are receptive to opinions, information gathered can be filtered or adjusted to suit a purpose.
- Helps you accept cultures that are different from yours: If you travel a lot, you definitely have to be broad-minded. When you are in Rome, act like the Romans…
- You will make a great conversationist: and I think that is awesome…with all the knowledge you have, you will always have an opinion to share ‘nicely’.
No man is an island of knowledge and being receptive to new information allows us achieve even better results.
As much as willingness to accept ideas tilts us towards our goal, being broad-minded does not mean we MUST always take in everything we hear completely.
We should have ’bouts of doubt’ and that should be because we are curious, we want to know more and we need to clear all assumptions.
By doing this, we give ourself the opportunity to learn and unlearn and that is good for living a meaningful life. The world is evolving and we have to be up to date. So by all means, be inquisitive, ask questions, research, understand and accept people’s culture, do not enforce your opinion on others and respect their opinions too.
You are more confident about an information when you clear assumptions and find the answer yourself.
If you enjoyed reading this, please share your experience if it is/was difficult for you to accept other people’s opinion.
Are you more receptive/ broad-minded now?
Have you also noticed you achieve better results when your opinions are in sync with that of your colleagues, friends or partner?
Tell me in the comment section, i will love to read from you.
Love, Peace and Cupcakes