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Gifted is the Open Mind

Every one of us is guilty of it. Some more than others, but all at least some. We do it consciously, we do it accidentally. Many of us try to justify it to ourselves, others feel it doesn’t need justification. Most don’t think much of it, but the truth is, when one commits it excessively, well. That is the saddest existence a person can live. No, not an existence in poverty. Not an existence in solitude. But an existence in self-afflicted ignorance. Living in a closed mind, cut off from bright, fresh idea by no more than one’s own will. We’ve all been closed minded. We’ve all written off the poorly performing student as dense, we’ve all thought of that beauty-obsessed girl as shallow. But when people take it to the extremes, that’s where the problems begin forming.

When I was 11 years old, I entered 7th grade. This was my first time ever being able to choose my electives. I signed up for orchestra, as my mother had insisted I ought to do since I was 5 years old. My friends thought I should do art, but I was adamant against it. Art, I thought, was not for me. I couldn’t draw. I couldn’t sketch. And what else was there?

Well, the day of 7th grade arrived. To my horror, I saw that I’d been placed into art class against my wishes due to orchestra being filled. I arrived into the classroom with a grimace on my face. This class, I told myself, was going to be the absolute bane of my 7th grade existence.

What I didn’t see myself doing was having a fantastic time, playing with colors and shapes, creating abstract paintings and collages, bringing home works of art I never knew I had to capability to produce. My life was changed because of that class. It unlocked a love of color I never knew I had. Suddenly, a waterfall burst forward in my mind, and I knew that I would spend the rest of my life with art.

This is an example of the most minor sort. I know now to be more open-minded, but unfortunately, not so many people learn the same way.

So many people miss out on so many things because they simply refuse to accept them. They miss out on the best friend of their life because they can’t associate with someone “shallow”. They miss out on learning their passion because they won’t try out anything that doesn’t “sound” up to their interests. They miss out on a life they could have had because they’re so closed off from new ideas.

If one day, everyone woke up and decided that they would accept new ideas, that they would try anything once, just imagine what that would mean. Fights and arguments would drastically decrease. The controllable ignorance levels would plummet; we would be vastly more educated. If the next time someone offered us a bite of strange food, or suggested a movie we’ve never seen, or asked us to come along to an activity we’ve never participated in, we accepted, imagine how we’d progress. Of course, we’d all lead better, happier lives individually. But we as a species, as humanity altogether, would progress so much farther. Someone who would usually turn in disgust from academics could make the next great scientific discovery. A person who’d never tried putting much effort into English could be the next Shakespear. More and more people would be saved from the depths of depression and suicide if others accepted them for who they were; more and more people would learn to do exactly what suits them best.
And so that leaves me to ask the question, why? Why do people intentionally keep themselves in ignorance like that? Why do people refuse to help make this world the blissful place it could be? There’s no reason for it, none at all. The problem is that people simply get too used to things. And so I say, step up! Step out of your comfort zone! Go take that dancing class you thought you’d just make a fool of yourself in! Go cook that meal you never wanted to do because everyone says it’s just work! Take chances, take risks, and try new things! If you fail, so what? You failed, and that’s it. But if you succeed, you may well have just discovered what makes your life complete. Leap out of your comfort zone! Do what’s best for you, for your peers, and for humanity.



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