I suspect that more than half the people on the planet are functioning adequately with entirely closed minds. This condition is so prevalent because there are so many situations that close our minds. We close up to be productive and focused on the task at hand. We also close up to keep from embarrassing ourselves with irrational outbursts. We get provoked to close our minds when we're faced with dangers, threats, enemies, arguments, fights and battles. We're also inclined to close our minds when we get into conflicts with other closed minds even though this typically escalates the conflict.
When our minds are closed, we are not necessary dysfunctional. We can perform reliably in routine jobs and contribute respectably to our families and neighborhoods. We find ourselves to be very compatible with closed systems that merely oscillate between different states without making any real changes. We can do things successfully that merely require determination, focus and consistency.
However, when minds are entirely closed, we cannot figure out why things happen, what makes people tick or what's behind problems that defy well-intended solutions. We don't know what we're missing. We're limping along without all vast benefits of our open-minded resources. We're burdened with the consequences of excluding complicated rationality and complex irrationality.
Here's most of what we're missing when our minds are entirely closed:
On the rational side of open-mindedness -- where situations get complicated by the diversity of people, backgrounds, experiences, interconnections etc.
- We're not really listening to others, getting where they're coming from or getting a picture of their passions, purposes, outlooks and priorities.
- We're not talking things out, working out differences, exploring common ground or discovering more ways to value others.
- We're not combining efforts, collaborating effectively, working with the varied talents available, or interacting to get things done.
- We're not sharing what we can bring, providing what we do best, contributing in a like manner or responding to the perceived needs of others.
- We're not making requests of others, expected insightful responses. soliciting contributions, or asking for help.
- We're not caring for others, sacrificing for the greater good, supporting others' successes, or nurturing developments collaboratively.
- We're not finding quality connections, getting satisfaction from involvement, or getting impacted in beneficial ways by interrelating.
- We're not making getting trusted by others, revealing our intentions, disclosing our history or enhancing our process transparency.
- We're not sharing our power equally, seeing things eye to eye, or leveling our playing field.
- We're not maintaining fairness, honoring bi-lateral agreements, or reciprocating in kind or keeping things even.
- We're not validating others, deepening our mutual respect, seeing others in a positive light or bringing out the best in them.
- We're not practicing inclusiveness, exhibiting tolerance, valuing diversity or integrating significant differences.
On the irrational side of open-mindedness -- where situations become extremely complex due to the paradoxical nature of everything:
- We're not coming up with innovative alternatives, creating useful combinations or thinking outside the box of legacy solutions
- We're not benefiting from our higher sense of timing, balance, proportion or right choices.
- We're not getting solutions to come to mind when we ask, patiently awaiting inspirations or receiving better than we knew to ask for.
- We're not compelled to act by an emotional future, feeling called to a significant challenge, or guided by sense of destiny.
- We're not aware of our own special gifts, refining our particular talents or becoming more resourceful in our own unique ways.
- We're not learning what interests us specially, following our own curiosity, or acting intrinsically motivated to explore new possibilities.
- We're not moved by the personal significance of what happens, containing objective evidence with our subjective filters or deepening our unique point of view.
- We're not immersed in flow experiences, moving from one good thing to another, or filled with appreciation for what's happening.
- We're not empty in a good way, taking advantage of not knowing what to think or thrilled by the mystery we're facing.
- We're not basking in positive emotions, feeling blessed at the moment, savoring the immediate experience or celebrating life right now.
- We're not seeing both sides of the same coin, integrating a pair of opposites into a synthesis or realizing a winning combination.
- We're not formulating comprehensive solutions, serving the full spectrum of variations or enhancing the responsiveness of co-evolving capabilities.
That's a lot to be missing all at once. With more than half the population limping along without these 24 resources, we can safely expect the world to remain in a sorry mess for a long time to come.