What Makes You Open-Minded or Closed-Minded?

As an essay writer and student, I have fellow classmates tell me their ideas, thoughts, and opinions everyday. Kind of like blogging, school is a bucket of different opinions; while some may agree with an idea, others may completely disagree. Eventually, someone’s going to ask you for your thoughts on the matter, and since everyone’s view of a certain topic is always the slightest bit different from another’s, this begs the question: what makes you an “open-minded” person or a “closed-minded” person?

If I went outside right now, even though it’s around ten-thirty at night while I’m writing this, and asked ten or twenty people what they think it means to be closed-minded, my guess is that in the world we live in today where if you simply disagree with someone online or in real life, you’ll completely open to being attacked for your opinion, meaning many of the people I ask might just say that being closed-minded is just that-disagreeing with somebody.

And here’s where we get to the “open-minded, closed-minded” problem: even though most people like to assume they’re open-minded just because they listen to others’ opinions, when multiple times I’ve overheard people just like this explain to one of their friends about how “I (the first person I was writing about) respect what you think, but I honestly think you should just believe my opinion because I think it’s right”.
As a lover of the English language, I honestly find this ignorance and misuse of the word “open-minded” to be atrocious, to say the least.

In the end, I found that the best way to explain the original question- “What makes you open-minded or closed-minded” is to see the dictionary definitions:

open-minded: willing to consider new ideas; unprejudiced. (Dictionary.com)

closed-minded: having a mind firmly unreceptive to new ideas or arguments (also Dictionary.com)

But just because you aren’t open-minded doesn’t mean you’re closed-minded. Looking back at my previous example, the person actually somewhat listened to their friend with the opposite opinion. A closed-minded person, as explained by the definition I provided earlier, won’t listen to, consider, or be convinced by someone else’s conflicting ideas.

Nicholas Lucchetto, The ESSAYER

TL;DR: just trust the dictionary this time, but feel free to think harder about what the two words really mean.

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