*This article is not about Bitcoin per se — but any point of view that goes against the norm
There’s this weird phenomenon — whereby telling someone something that goes against what they believe — leads to them believing that you’re full of shit. The more you try to convince them of your viewpoint, the more they think you’re full of it.
Even if you present them with some facts, anecdotal experience, or research they’ll give you back a blank stare, while they silently think, that you’re entirely wrong.
The extreme of this is that the said person will pigeonhole you, and perhaps call you an idiot. Or perhaps they’ll just pity you and think that you’re naïve. Meanwhile, the people who do listen to you, or anyone else for that matter, benefit from a new perspective.
Historically, people who had a viewpoint that went against the established orthodoxy, particularly within religious contexts, were marginalized, shamed, and even killed. And although we’ve made some progress compared to the last century, this still happens in different parts of the world, and the trend has been recently growing.
Open-mindedness is a trait that most people will claim they have. But when it comes to being able to consider other people’s ideas, maybe most people aren’t that open-minded. In some cases, you’ll be better of painting a wall and staring at it.
The only difference will be that the paint will stick. Today, with cancel culture, we’re increasingly seeing a regression in people’s ability to simply peacefully, and respectfully consider other people’s ideas.
People can grapple with new ideas that are presented to them with an excess of skepticism or cynicism. This is a large part of the reason why most people keep their innermost perspectives private — they’d rather avoid being gaslit.
People who respond emotionally to contrarian ideas — approach the person sharing these ideas with the sentiment that they are guilty until proven innocent. Instead of coming to the table with an empty cup, their cup is already filled with their preexisting conclusions. Such an approach to new ideas on a large scale, echoes of a ‘mediocracy’, a term used by Carl Jung to describe a segment of society that moves away from independent thinking into herd emotion-based psychology.
Levels of Open-Mindedness
Why Open-Mindedness is a Superpower
When there is increasingly less of a middle-ground, both economically and psychologically, the spirit of open-mindedness is a superpower. It leads to better decision making; positioning; and thinking. Most importantly, the trait of open-mindedness eventually leads back to humility. And the sense that you don’t have it figured out and that you have much more to learn from those around you, which leads to the ultimate ROI and compound effect.
A Religious Perspective
One of the central truths within Christianity is that the messenger is persecuted. Some people are willing to die on a cross to get a message across, and they suffer for it (think whistleblowers). But in our private lives, some discretion is advisable.
Certain conversations are not worth having if the spirit of open-mindedness is not there. Pick your battles and use your energy effectively. Not everyone is ready to hear what might be the truth. And burning yourself out, trying to convince someone of something without the trait of open-mindedness, is a losing proposition from the get-go.
And who knows — maybe you really are full of shit after all.
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