I proudly labeled myself open minded at an early age. As with many of my young peers, each passing year brought new knowledge and understanding. Inevitably, this new vantage would turn my definition of open minded on its head. I would smugly comment on my recently younger self, "Ha! Back then I only thought I was open minded" confidently adding, "But now ... now I actually am."
Rinse. Lather. And repeat.
Although I'm often not intelligent enough to avoid entering into patterns, I can sometimes recognize the patterns I fall into. It took some time for me to recognize this one, and now I know -- I like to think of myself as open minded, but I'm merely a work in progress.
I've come to believe that one's level of open mindedness can be measured by the nature and breadth of stories that cross one's path. As an adult, I find individuals sharing their life beliefs with what appears to be little reservation. However, I have no doubt that what people will be willing to share with me 10 years from now will help me look back and understand how much people are currently holding back.
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