We live in a society where everyone has an opinion and most people don't mind sharing it. Facebook asks us how we are feeling everyday, updates us on how our friends are feeling, and even people that aren't actually our friends. Twitter gives us 180 characters to tell people about how we are feeling. And yet, we live in a world where so many people are close minded, myself included.
Being close minded means that while you have an opinion on things, the opinions of others don't phase you or don't really matter in the grand scheme of things. This is both a blessing and a curse. As an example, up until recently I was a huge supporter of marijuana remaining an illegal drug. Since becoming an addiction studies minor and learning more about marijuana, that opinion has vastly changed. While there are still cons to marijuana and I personally choose to never use marijuana, in some cases it really helps people, and to me, that's worth at least giving it a shot or more testing.
Living in an ever changing world as a close minded person, hinders you more than it helps you. By walking around thinking that the world is simply the way you see it, you miss out on other ideologies, breakthroughs, and even science, purely because you refused to believe any opinion other than your own could be valid.
By being close minded, you're also taking away new experiences. As close minded people, we are usually set in our ways. We take the same routes to school and work, do the same things on the weekends, stick to the same people, because we know that it's safe and we know exactly what we're doing and who we're doing it with. However, by allowing yourself to completely ignore that there is a whole world of people out there, you are denying yourself access to knowledge and personalities that you may never know existed. In the long run, having a diverse friend group allows you to grow as an individual and teaches you how to deal with other people and their opinions.
Being close minded does not mean being ignorant, there is a huge difference between the two. Ignorance is simply not knowing, close mindedness is knowing that there are other opinions and thoughts out there and not putting as much value to them because they aren't your own. But wouldn't you rather come to a conclusion based on multiple opinions, not just your own?
Sometimes, as close minded people we get so set in our ways that it's hard to accept anyone's ideas but our own. But think of all the information you may be missing, experiences you aren't experiencing, and people you aren't meeting. Try to be a little more open minded and watch your expanding horizons!