There is a very real danger in close-mindedness. We find it in varying degrees. Whether in politics, academics or the way one goes about living, perspective is one of the most important pieces in the sociological puzzle. If you can’t put yourself in someone else’s shoes, understand the world from that person’s point of view, then you are at a great disadvantage. It is in seeing the world through someone else’s eyes that we truly appreciate how versatile this planet can be.
We see close-mindedness happen in politics all too often. Some people only care about themselves and cannot and will not take into account the well being of others who might be suffering or unfairly treated. The Trump supporters who are radically conservative are fearful and unable to empathize with those less fortunate than themselves. On the other side of the spectrum, we find the close-minded liberals. In politics, many people equate being liberal with being open-minded, and this is true to some extent. Advocating for human rights, education, immigration and many other initiatives, Democrats are certainly forward-thinking and pushing for change. However, sometimes a person can have such a one track mind that he or she won’t accept anything but ultimate and radical change. We’ve seen it in the recent election. If you fail to take a step back and understand what it is that Republicans fear and why, you are completely missing the mark and have done a grave injustice to yourself as an informed voter. To push for socialism is to overlook the opinions of millions of voters in the United States. While political change is important for the well-being of a country, it should be fairly representative. To think a Trump supporter would willingly accept socialism is not only ignorant but narrow-minded as well.
Academically, the United States has done a great disservice to its people. In recent times the education system has been criticized for being weak in its special education initiatives. It has become all too clear that we all learn in different ways. A public school in the United States underperforms when compared to a public school in Scandinavia and why is that? In countries like Norway and Sweden, they work on the complete well-being of the student. A child isn’t solely defined by test scores and numbers. He or she is treated as an individual with a unique voice. The schools there work on building a well-rounded individual — a student who reads, writes, creates. They allow the student to pursue many different things — from wood carving to calculus and everything in between. It is in stepping back and allowing a student to do something he or she enjoys that we find the greatest success. A student in the United States has his or her voice drowned out by the desire for test scores over individual attention.
Close-mindedness is rampant and dangerous for the progress of a society. It can be regressive and damaging. We see it when people are so quick to judge an individual’s wants and needs because they might be different than those of our own. When people are intolerant to the LGBTQ community, we need to hold those critics accountable because the longer this close-mindedness is allowed to continue, the longer hatred and instability will be present in our society. Because those kids’ parents were raised in an isolated manner, they passed down this same narrow-mindedness to their children.
It’s vital people learn that life is a matter of perspective.The longer we refuse to acknowledge others’ opinions, the more complicated and hostile the world will become. In order to fully understand the world around you, you must be able and willing to try to see through someone else’s eyes.