The Positivity Project defines open-mindedness as “the willingness to actively search for evidence that goes against one’s favored belief, plans, or goals.” People who are open minded do not jump to conclusions. Instead, they look at all situations from every angle before making a decision. Open-minded people are mainly described as being understanding and willing to take chances.
Whether or not someone is open minded has a strong effect on relationships. Jamesville-DeWitt High School Guidance Counselor Amy LeStrange said, “If you’re not open minded your friends probably know that and those friends are gonna be a little less likely to share than if you were open minded.” Therefore, if one were to judge everyone they meet before really getting to know them, then they are going to miss out on opportunities to make new friends and keep friends who feel comfortable confiding in them.
“People who are open minded are more likely to have a more rich and full life compared to others who aren’t,” said English as a New Language teacher Kristine Wisnieski. Being open minded comes with the willingness to take chances and explore new opportunities. If someone is closed off, they will not get the chance to experience new ways of culture and learn new things.
Being open minded is an important quality to have, especially in a school so diverse. J-DHS has students from many different cultures and backgrounds, but being open minded does not come easily to everyone. “Everyone is on their own journey and has their own path and respecting the experiences we all have leads us to the perspectives that we have currently,” said Mrs. Lestrange. Being able to understand that there is more than one way to do something will help people listen to the opinions of others and learn something new. “Deep down everybody has their own sense of judgment, and we all need to work on being not as judgmental about things,” Mrs. Wisnieski said.
“The better we understand each other, the better and richer our community will be,” said Mrs. Lestrange. Being open minded affects everybody, no matter what environment they are in or where they are in their life. If everyone in society became open minded, our community would be more well rounded and a better place to live.