Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Consider This:

Consider for a second all the recent events happening in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

You've all seen the hubub on Facebook, maybe twitter, the news, everywhere. If you haven't, either you're lying or you don't follow current events in America. (I honestly don't know how far-reaching this whole ordeal is. Living in Utah, I hear about it a lot.)

So think about what you've heard. Think about the debates you've read between facebook friends. Perhaps you even un-friended someone because of their view on the whole situation.

Have you seen someone remark "you need to be more open-minded" or "the church is really close-minded."?

The thing is, 95% of the people debating out there aren't open-minded. The ones pointing the finger, saying "you aren't open-minded" are probably not being open-minded themselves. (There are a few exceptions, don't worry, I know who you are.)

Look back at that definition. To be open-minded is to be "willing to consider different ideas or opinions." It doesn't say "one who is open-minded is to reject another's values because they are conservative." It doesn't say "You are NOT open-minded if you don't accept gay marriage." In fact, it says the opposite. It says "willing to consider"... not accept, just consider.

I can be open-minded even if  I don't support same sex marriage. I can be open-minded even if I don't agree with Kate Kelly. I can be open-minded, because to be open-minded is to be "willing to consider different ideas and opinions." If you want to tell me why you support same-sex marriage, then sure, go ahead. I'll listen, and I'll consider what you have just said, but I don't have to accept it. If you want to tell me that Kate Kelly is right, then go ahead. I don't have to agree. But to be open-minded, you have to do the same. If someone wants to tell you why they don't believe in same-sex marriage, then you have to be willing to consider their ideas.

It's frequently said that conservative people are close-minded because they don't listen. The same could easily be said for anyone deemed "liberal". It doesn't matter what your opinion or view is, if you are not willing to consider a different idea, they you aren't open-minded.

It's really that simple. Somehow, along the way, we forgot that open-minded is considering, not accepting. If you don't persuade me to change my mind, it doesn't mean that I didn't take the time to consider your views, it just means you didn't convince me. It's really not a big deal. Agree to disagree, but take time to consider the other side.