This is the perfect time to be talking about this. With the election that just happened and all that surrounds it, plus all of the protests of multiple different things from killings, to constructions of oil pipelines; there are so many different things we hear about, that we don’t actually do the research to see what’s actually happening.
Because I have put this down as a Christ-following blog, I want to set the beginning of this blog with some knowledge for y’all to know – I am keeping Christian viewpoints out of this as much as possible for you. Though, I will address things that Christians do that hurt the processes of creating our own opinions.
To officially start this post, I must say, I am still working on this myself, but the reason I want to talk about this is because not enough people actually try to find out BOTH sides of every story you hear. We believe so many news stories just because it comes from the same viewpoint or stance that we already have. If you want me to prove this, then look at your political party. Do you listen to everything that is Republican or Democratic? Do you question everything that comes from the party you don’t like, but believe everything that your political party says? Do you listen to only Fox News or CNN? If so, then you are just accepting another person’s opinion and not your own.
I’ll be honest, I would call myself a Republican, but I listen to a lot more Democratic news outlets than I do Republican. Not because I want a laugh or because I think they are misguided, but because I want to create my own well informed opinion. The moment that I let my bias overtake my opinions is the moment that I become closed-minded.
I always look for things that are unbiased, because when someone can report the news as just news, that’s when I actually listen to what other people have to say.
The moment that people use their opinion to report the news is the moment that it is no longer news, because it becomes a biased view that holds very little factual information, but a lot of agenda. I’m not in the business of listen to agendas and taking it as facts, I’m in the business of hearing news and researching it.
Let’s move from this, into how to actually stay open-minded.
Step One: Become Unbiased by Listen to People When They Speak.
I know this seems obvious, but let’s be real, a lot of people forget to do this when they have conversations with people about big subjects. All they are worried about is sharing their view and not hearing the other person’s view.
We have to hear people out when we invite them into a conversation. This is absolutely necessary to staying open-minded and to not becoming biased. When we stop listening to people once they say something that is against what we believe or think, we shut off our ability to think and give up our right to have an opinion.
If we are the ones that invite people into a conversation, but can’t listen to people who have an opinion that is the complete opposite of ours, then we throw out our ability to be curious and think about what we read or hear.
When we shut off our ability to think, we turn off our freedom to speak our mind.
This probably will annoy a lot of people because it’s America’s First Amendment right to speak our mind, but if we only speak our mind or opinion and don’t think or research what we’re about to say, then we only come off as foolish and misinformed.
Let’s quote the Bible for the Christians that are offended at the above statement; “The tongue of the wise makes knowledge look appealing, but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness.” (Proverbs 15:2) The wise make knowledge appealing, meaning that wise people encourage others to look up what is correct at all times. Foolish people only speak, don’t listen to others, and don’t put in the effort to find out the truth; which smells like a horrible belch.
Listen to Two Different News Outlets.
Obviously the news is biased. I would say “nowadays”, but the news has been biased for more than just our century.
With that being said, we should still listen to two different news networks, that share two totally different views. Even though the media is biased, that doesn’t mean I have to be.
When we watch the other side of the news that we can’t stand, but at least hear them out, then we actually let our biases slide away from our thinking and start to become more open-minded people. We get so butt hurt about people being biased that we never realize that we have our own biases towards our “regularly scheduled programing”. When you hear the other side of the news, you start to realize that there really is two sides to every story.
Which bring us to my next point –
Step 3: There’s Two Sides to Every Story.
I’ll compare this to the movie, Toy Story.
Andy was a normal kid that loved to play with his toys and never really thought about, or even considered, that they might actually have a secret life that could affect him.
If we look at the movie (the very first one), Andy should’ve seen those toys move around, or at least have the sense that nobody can steal his toys from his room and then suddenly return them after a couple of days like nothing had ever happened haha.
We should do our due diligence when it comes to the stories we hear over the tv, Facebook, the internet, or whatever comes into our view in terms of information and media that we watch.
If we really want to encourage people to be open-minded, then we have to encourage fact-checking and hear people out with legitimate interest when we speak to them.
Think about how you can start living like that more in your life, and how you can encourage people to do the same.