Sunday, February 17, 2008

Not Willing To Change?

What I would term a dangerous precedent has found its way into modern American thought.  Where once we sought differing opinions and viewpoints, thereby learning from the beliefs of others, now it seems this country is more comfortable with listening to and following only those persons who proffer opinions they already agree with.  They learn nothing. 

A small example could be made of my previous post about the "Mosquito" device which I based upon what knowledge I had.  A very dear friend, ED, by his more-informed view, and laden with facts, gave me to see a more accurate side to the issue - so I've come away with a better idea of what is involved.  I've learned something.  Dissention breeds the act of further learning, I'd say, if the mind is open and willing.

What's happening now is what author Susan Jacoby calls the "Age of American Unreason" (the title of her book which I recommend).  If we agree with certain tenets,, we seek others of like mind and listen to their dictates, giving way only grudgingly to those of dissenting views.  So how can we learn if such an unwillingness to change exists in our behaviors?

Dissention brings argument, which fosters discussion, meaningful dialogue, and hopefully, the changes which are parent to eventual broadening of viewpoints. 

Robert Ingersoll, the great agnostic and speaker, always found his audiences filled with those who disagreed with his views and said so.  A fertile field for thought.  In the last several decades, however, more people have insisted on retaining their comfort level of simply believing what they always have.  All that's accomplished is the reaffirmation of the same principles over and over.  Where lies growth in that?  I already know what I know, tell me something I don't - better still and more especially, about what I think I do! 

I will always court different views.  Continual learning is the avenue to real growth, I believe, and so long as we're honest, we'll disagree.  And grow.  Evolve. 

Did you know there are people who still insist the sun revolves around the earth?  A dangerous example of where the unwillingness to change can lead.     

     

20 comments:

ma24179 said...

I'm always open to hearing different views, I'm actually an open minded person. There are some things (very few) that I absolutely do not agree with and do not want to here anymore about it.. but I think that's everyone to some extent. (((HUGS))) -Missy http://journals.aol.com/ma24179/MISSYZSTUFF

hadonfield78 said...

This was very interesting......

luddie343 said...

Note to Missy:  Your right to disagree isn't questioned.  I just wonder at your not being willing to "hear more about it" as you say.  Without having to change your mind, why not at least entertain differing views?  A thought..  

sybilsybil45 said...

So True...I do agree with all you say today...maybe not tomorrow though  lol !!! but we can always go forward if we listen to others.  The one thing that does bother me these days is that if we disagree wih what someone says it always seems to end in an argument then quite often seperation and a distance between people who were previously friends !!  well called themselves friends !! or peole are called biggots and we know where that can lead...we sure live in a funny old world  Love Sybil xx

lanurseprn said...

I find it very interesting to hear different views on things. It helps me form my own opinion. I take a little from each view and form my own.
Interesting entry.
Pam

jeadie05 said...

Of course we cant agree all the time ,but its good to hear anothers point of view ,and think about it ,It would be so boring if we all agreed all the time lol ..love Jan xx

mutualaide said...

I find that I feel absolutely brow-beaten when I'm discussing something with another and they just won't open the door a teeny crack to another possibility.  I usually just walk away -- it's too exhausting to make a point with a stubborn mule.

I agree with you Cath, and I may even be guilty of not being as open minded as I used to be -- some days.

shrbrisc said...

Change is the hardest part of live, the unknown is so scary
have a great day
hugs
SHerry

valphish said...

I think I am very careful to "listen" to someone when they have an opinion that is different than mine.  I try to hear "why" they have that opinion and not judge them.  I hope I am open-minded.  I can see where some things are not black and white.  Things change.  We will find out later how wrong we are on so many levels.  WOW... Makes me think of the times I have thought I was 100% correct and I was so wrong... (not too often, though ;-)).  Love, Val xox
http://journals.aol.com/valphish/ThereisaSeason

wwfbison said...

I am always willing to listen (or read) others opinions.  Do I always agree, no ~ but I do come away with learning something new and sometimes even put it into practice.  Change can be hard but not impossible if we believe in it enough.
xx
Lisa

aimer said...

I'd certainly rather have an exchange of differing ideas than a world where we all had to adhere to thinking and believeing the same. I so agree with you that hearing different points of view can be a learning experience. Nicely said.--Sheria

pamal3 said...

My dad had a favourite saying and It's so true, He said "The world would be a very boring place If we were all the same"! Love Pam xx

pharmolo said...

Cathy,
It is held in political circles here in the UK that legislation, introduced when both government and opposition parties agree with it from the outset, is weak and ineffectual. When it is introduced after vigorous debate and discussion, the end result tends to be much stronger.

rockoned7 said...

Thanks Cathy for the air of notoriety being mentioned in your blog. There is no matter of me being right or wrong or being so thin skinned that I cannot take the critique of my fellows when I wrote my comments.
Naturally it appals me to relate that aspect of crowd control to public scrutiny but it also appals me that some kids are under a curfew in some of the UK towns at night. Our citizens are terrified to go out their doors in our cities because of youth mob violence and intimidation. The system might be fundamentally flawed but it is an alternative where the police are over whelmed and nonexistent at those times.
So wake up America and smell the coffee; this is not a British invention but an USA one.  I trust my dialogue was thought provoking as a few commentaries put out, and wrong I may be, but what is wrong or right in this immoral world?
As you know I no longer live in the UK and it is only when visiting it I see the sad and miserable way things have changed so I will continue to comment, on whatever subject you write, or the comments I get in return. So thanks again ED

attitudeslc said...

Evolve Damit!.... that is the basic concept of the book I spoke of in my Blog, "A New Earth".  

It is important to remain open to others opinions.  It also help to remember that they are just opinions and even fact, isn't really fact.  All that is here will one day pass and all that will be left is our essence. Our "Being".  That is what we must learn to honor in each other.

~Rosemary

gdireneoe said...

One of the best things my dad used to say was question everything...and everyone...respectfully...but question just the same.  That's the formula to learning, and the key to curiosity...and vice versa. ;)  C.

rdautumnsage said...

The thing I love the most about the friendships I have, is the diversity. I may have my own opinions about things, but so do they. You tend to hear a lot of different views in friendships like that. You also learn to not judge a book by it's cover , rather find out what is waiting to be discovered within it's pages. Humans are complex creatures, we were never meant to entertain simple ideas, rather explore and always learn. At the end of our lives we will have not used half of the potential of our brains, that in itself says alot. (Hugs) Indigo

sunnyside46 said...

I would really like to copy this and share it with some people, of course giving you credit for authorship and only with your permission.
Marti

jmorancoyle said...

    Again, I agree with you. I think that if we seek not political change, but different ideas, we will achieve a lot more.
Jude
http://journals.aol.com/jmorancoyle/MyWay

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