I love the fluidity of their meanings.
I love the way they cross the lips and roll off the tongue.
I love how they can be as gentle as the breeze from the wings of angels while simultaneously being caustic enough to melt skin.
My name is Tim and I’m a wordaholic.
Words are so much more than simple communication. Language can provide a window into how the mind works (and sometimes doesn’t work).
While we are arguably the most intelligent species on the planet, we consistently hold thoughts and beliefs, as irrefutable truth that we know can’t be true.
This amazing cognitive paradox can be seen in how we use certain words. Narrow-minded is one of these words.
“Narrow-Minded” is loosely defined as lacking tolerance, flexibility or breadth of view.
We have all met narrow-minded people.
But not a single one of them would define themselves as being narrow-minded.
We KNOW people can be narrow-minded; yet each of us is fully convinced it’s not us.
Are you narrow-minded? “No”, are others? “Yes”.
There are only 3 possible states that can exist:
1. No one is narrow-minded
2. Some people are narrow-minded
3. Everyone is narrow-minded
The first can’t be true or we wouldn’t even have a word for it.
The third can’t be true or the word would be akin to breathing (something we all do) and have no negative connotation.
The truth is that some people are narrow-minded. Yet mysteriously none of them (none of us?) think they are.
As a species we are FANTASTIC at self-deception, so good in fact, that we aren’t even aware of it.
This raises some problematic questions. If I can’t be sure that I am not narrow-minded, what other things might I be wrong about?
Am I kind and loving? Am I even lovable? Am I selfish, manipulative? Am I the person my ex-wife claims I am?
If I can’t trust my own mind how can I know?
If I don’t know, how can I change or grow or improve?
You simply can’t completely trust your own mind, it will deceive you, and we are wired like this for a reason.
Alone we will be self-deceived. Alone we will make poor choices. Alone we cannot survive. Biologically, socially, mentally, We need each other, Whether we like it or not.
We are social creatures. It’s our connection that keeps us whole. It is our interactions that keep us alive.
The only way we know how we fit, where we fit, when we fit, is through our interaction with others. We are nothing alone. We are everything together.
In the end, we know who we are by the relationships we have developed, by the love we have spread, by the hope we have shared.
Are you narrow-minded? I don’t know, you can’t know, and in the end it doesn’t really matter.