You Think You’re So Open-minded

I’m nowhere near being open-minded.

If anything, I’m fairly close-minded most of the time. I read things about topics I’m only interested in, I only listen to the music that’s been on my library for years, and I only watch films and series which premises seem like to support my pre-existing ideas. I do challenge myself from time to time, like trying to keep up with world politics from various sources, or listening to some pop albums on its entirety without skipping a single track, or even finishing a 40-episodes-long Taiwanese drama although it sucks and I hate how annoying Mandarin sounds (I really did, once). But not on daily basis. I’m not even sure if it’s weekly. A few times every month, probably. Roughly once or twice a month on average.

To complete all that, I mainly surround myself with people who, more or less, are on the same wavelength as me.

But I’m very self-aware. I’m aware of all that, I even openly embrace that part of me. Granted, it doesn’t eliminate my close-mindedness right away but, ah, it does prevent me from making an occasional dangerous slip to the Bigot Valley.

And by the way, realistically speaking, there’s just no way you can truly be an “open-minded” person. Your brain just naturally isn’t cut out for it. I know because I didn’t waste my four years studying human’s mind and behaviour for nothing, you see.

We all favour comfort above all, and there’s no comfort in it when we’re faced with something that contradicts or different from our preconceived notions. There’s this uneasy feeling we get instead, so uneasy we’d much rather avoid it if we can. You probably wouldn’t want to sit yourself through a 90-minutes symphony if you’re only into current popular music. You probably would’ve dismissed the idea of reading articles that doesn’t hold your interest. And I know you wouldn’t want to sit through some Korean dramas for hours if you’re usually into dark, intelligent, mind-boggling Western series. Oh, I know for sure.

It’s just how your brain works. Why suffer through unfamiliar settings every single time when you can take the easy way out? Yes. Your brain actually is just as lazy as you are.

So I couldn’t help but scoff every time I spot those people on the internet who proudly describe themselves as being open-minded.

This would be the same people who refuse to watch any Asian dramas because they think Asian dramas are all sappy, stupid, and unintelligent. This would also be the same people who refuse to read any shoujo mangas, or any young adult novels, for the exact same reason. This would be the classical music snobs (or any specific-unpopular-genre snobs) who refuse to even listen to any current pop music because they think pop music are absolute garbage.

This would be the same people who act as if racism, sexism, and social justice are the only thing matters today, and that it should be. The kind of people who think that those problems are universal on all levels, that it should be everyone’s primary concern, no matter who they are or where they come from or what kind of life they’ve been living. The kind of people who accuse everyone who voted for Trump as deplorable and unfriend them on Facebook right away. The kind of people who hold a black-and-white way of thinking, like thinking that an indifference to racism is still racism.

This would be the same people who, apparently, wouldn’t get that there are some other people who are just too desperate to feed themselves or have a place to live in, to be able to pay attention to those things.

This would be the same people who surround themselves only with like-minded folks, listening to opinions that are no different from their own. This would be the same people who’ve been living their lives in an echo chamber.

This would be you.

So, open-minded?

Get off your high horse. You know damn well that you’re not.

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