"Fear" of open minded people: Reptiles of the mind.
Nothing grinds my gears more than people who fear change and do everything they can to run from it. Since there is nothing more constant than change, one might think others would graciously accept it as part and parcel in the circle of life. But, alas, this is not true.
Two of the most fearful areas of change are in religion and politics. People cannot discuss either without proselytizing and making judgments on the others belief. In my lifetime I have been berated, judged and attacked for my own opinions on both subjects to the point I am not discussing it much any more. I have my own way of looking at the world, gleaned from my spiritual awareness, years of study and assimilation of my value system. I am not interested in being persuaded to take a different stance. Many times, I have been told to "read this, or read that" in order to come to my "senses". This is totally ludicrous. When I have asked others if they have looked into various religious belief systems or political stances as I have over the years, they offer a wikipedia version of their inquiry. I am asked to read christocentic or bibliocentric tomes of writers whose agendas are clear: FEAR! I tire of the walking huddled sheep.
What I have come to discern over the past 56 years of my life is that most people need to be told what to do, they do not wish to discover their own beliefs about anything. And, added to that, they fear open minded people, viewing them as "radicals, communists, socialists, fascists, weirdos, hippies, liberals, progressives and the list goes on". They are uncomfortable with people who can articulate, who question the status quo, who throw away the 'box', not just think out of it. When someone speaks with eloquent words they scratch their heads in confusion. When someone speaks to them in a "folksy" manner, they embrace them as though they were demigods. Do we honestly want someone who talks like an idiot to lead us? And what of the uneducated masses? You know, people who cannot spell, cannot string together a sentence, cannot envision a weekend without drinking a case of beer and watching NASCAR? While some of these people are quite endearing, do we want a leader to encompass these traits in order to lead?
I suppose I sound like an elitist intellectual. I am not. I grew up in a family that voted Republican, my dad was a veteran, both had little extended education and we spent years in quasi-poverty. I was the only one in my family to go to college and get several degrees. I had hard working parents and siblings. But they were NOT closed minded individuals. Their lack of formal education did not make them "sheep", and they did not fear change. I could not have ventured into my own educational journey without some influence of these fine people. But, I allowed myself to grow and be released from the restraints of old patterns and ways of thinking. I do not wish to influence others to my way of thinking, as much as to remind others to allow the change to come through them in their outdated ways of thinking.
Why do we still argue about things that have been around since time began? Why do we go to war on everything? "War of drugs, war on poverty, war in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc". We live in a "War mentality. Even our sports promote a war mentality. "Beat them, we are number 1, our team is better, punch them, tackle, fight and win". Is it no wonder that fans get caught up in this sort of approved "fight" and attack other fans? Is football not a war? Why do we send little boys who are in the middle of growing up into a blood sport where he gets tackled, teased and cursed at for his performance? Are we so blind as not to see this could be a death sentence? Yes, young men have died as a result of playing a "game". Fools are we.
The first thing in the healing and releasing of FEAR is the recognition that we are living in it. This is the place where becoming open to new ideas falls flat. We do not recognize that we have bought into all of societies attempts to draw us in. We scoff at those who do not think as we do, but we do not realize we do not think, we react. We embrace that to which we are indoctrinated. Never question it. Live happily stupefied in it. Think we have a well balanced life full of all of the treasures of the American dream.
Ever notice the labels people constantly place on themselves? "I am a Christian". (does it matter what your religion is? What matters is how you live and why is it you do not hear people say "I am a Jew, Muslim, Hindu").
"I am a doctor, lawyer, firefighter, computer programmer, etc" ( is this how you identify WHO you are?).
"I am a: Replublican, Democrat, Libertarian"....( party above person?)
" I am a sports fan, Patriots,Seahawks, Bills, Broncos" So what? Shut up about it. I am a fan of classic literature, do I need to cheer for the characters in my book?)
The key is we are much more than one thing, and nothing is better than another. In the spirit of gamesmanship, why are we not kind and loving attendants, instead of warring spectators? Why is everything centered around EGO? This is better than that, we are number 1, we are this religion and it makes us "better"? UGH. ENOUGH I SAY!