An Open Mind and a Closed Heart
What happens when others cannot see hope as you do, what an interesting question. This weekend I had the misfortune to talk to a lot of people who already made up their minds on an issue and didn’t want to discuss it. They just wanted to walk by and be done with it.
It seems many have just made up their mind. But when we say made up their mind what do we really mean? Do we really mean we’ve closed our minds? We have already decided? We don’t want to discuss the issue? We don’t want to be open? So we must ask the question is it really our mind that’s closed or is our heart?
Often our defense for not listening to another perspective is often we don’t trust the source. It might be a news channel, a newspaper, a Facebook feed, a book, a relative, or someone we don’t trust. So, we apply an automatic assumption that everything that comes from that Channel or person is false, or at least disagreeable to my previously predetermined position. Whatever that might be.
Then, if we look at the scripture which tells us to love our enemies, what the heck does that mean in this context? It doesn’t mean that what our enemies are saying is true or that we have to believe it. But in order to love our enemies, if indeed they are enemies, we at least have to listen to what makes up their opinion or position on something. If we have a predetermined mindset on something doesn’t that automatically mean that we have a closed mindset, or rather I should say closed heart set, on that person or that Channel?
People say they have an open mind, but they also have made up their minds. I was talking to someone today who said that EVERYTHING since Vatican 2 has been terrible for the Catholic Church. They also described some local gardens in a religious setting that needed weeding, and how disgraceful it was that they did need weeding; and that the owners of that organization should be ashamed of themselves for not weeding the garden.
If we are not careful, we just become a series of judgment statements. One opinion after the other, each irrevocable, each true, each unassailable. This is a world without research without discernment, without analysis, without science, without God. If you leave God out of the picture and you are unwilling to listen, let alone love your neighbor and your enemy alike, then what is the point?
You cannot have a closed mind and an open heart. A deaf person listens with their eyes. A blind person sees with their touch and their ears.
So, the gateway to an open heart is an open mind, but an open heart will blow any closed mind wide open. You cannot cry with joy or sadness purely from your mind. It is your heart that’s touched. If we surround that heart with barbed wire, venom, and predetermined opinions, the something happens. We become what we desire. A walking judge, a judge without judgment, just opinions which we use to whip those in shape around us who disagree, and to separate us, tribally, from those who don’t agree.
This may be the malaise of our time. A cancer of the soul that seems uncurable to many. Which can only be healed by love, and a disposition to receive it. An opening of hearts is the only way to open a mind. With love, kindness, and a willingness to say and live the truth, no matter the consequences.
And hope, God’s precious gift, will return.