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"Fear" of open minded people: Reptiles of the mind.

Updated on November 30, 2012

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!


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    • Aley Martin profile imageAUTHOR

      Alice Lee Martin 

      7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      thanks Neil! I do understand that we can always agree to disagree and still be open to new ideas! Deep bows.

    • Neil Sperling profile image

      Neil Sperling 

      7 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

      Awesome hub and exactly bang on -- too many people are so narrow minded they pear through key holes with both eyes. You summed up a beautiful open minded view of the world today.... I see it like you!

      Yes I am opinionated and bull headed - but yet I truly have an open mind through it all... I frequently comment "you will never change my mind, however I am always open to make a new decision based on additional information"

      Great hub - voted up and awesome


    • Aley Martin profile imageAUTHOR

      Alice Lee Martin 

      7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      Thanks gmwilimams and HattieMattie!!! There is hope for everyone to choose this type of living. WOW, it is nice to see so many people resonate with my words here. Sometimes you have to wait for people to show up that understand! WOOHOO and peace it is! Hug to both.

    • HattieMattieMae profile image


      7 years ago from Europe

      I totally agree Aley, I'm right with you all the way! I'm an open minded person...and very spiritual and have been brought up in a christian area. Fortunately I have witnessed what you are writing about! It is a war...especially if you come up against Fundamentalist that teach judgement and punishment. Fortunately from speaking with people on hubpages in forums all over the world and other areas of the internet I started understanding how no matter what topic were are discussing like you state above we have to war, and injure others just to be right, and do it one way whether it is politics or what ever discussion. I don't participate anymore either. I stand for peace. I rather discuss things with people that can stay neutral, but still get their point across without shoving theirs down my throat. I have an open mind. I'll tell you I am attacked...but I stand my ground like you do..I think have the leaders that attack me...fall short of understanding to be a leader you have to listen...never fear...say your point...but never harm others in the process.

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      7 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Aley, You and I must have been separated at birth. I have stated the same thing for decades. Many people do have dinosaur brains and are deathly afraid to accept change and/or to take risks in their lives. They would rather remain in a purgatorial comfort zone, meandering throughout life and following the typing modus operandi of the majority, this is so sad indeed!

    • Aley Martin profile imageAUTHOR

      Alice Lee Martin 

      7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      Simply beautiful and articulate. I take no offense to what you have written and actually agree with you completely! I know there will be many who find your words offensive, but they are not educated, not worldly as you put it....and I HATE sports...! lol. It is the new opiate of the masses! Thanks again for coming by...

    • profile image

      Virtually Bored 

      7 years ago from Ireland

      I'm an Irishman, and I've often wondered what exactly is "The American Dream", "the Land of the free" and all that stuff. Ignorant uneducated people always fear change. That's a fact. I think this fear of change in America is because most Americans don't have a passport so they don't see other cultures and traditions. I mean, you call it The WORLD SERIES, and you're the only ones who play baseball. Don't get me wrong, I'm not critizing Americans, I'm many friend there, but I think if I was there, I'd be more afraid of Government than any person. The Patriot Act is unbelievable and even now, listening to the Presidenbtial debates, I wonder if any of you know what is going on in the rest of the world. If you do, you certainly don't hold your Government accountable for anything they are doing. Why do you give up freedoms to be free and I think your war on "terror" is just a joke. Your Government make you fear and you'll never be free. That for me is why Americans fear change. It's bred into you at this stage. Don't misunderstand what I'm saying here. I love American people, I think you are probably the most creative people in the world, I'm Irish afterall, so I have an affinity to you, but you really do need to stop the biggest source of fear which is your Government. I often watch CNN and Fox and my God, their version of the news actually makes headlines around the rest of the world. I'm convinced you're all being conditioned and becoming insular and inward looking, suspicious of anything "different", even each other. Keep the faith and God bless

    • Aley Martin profile imageAUTHOR

      Alice Lee Martin 

      7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      thanks for coming by John!

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 

      7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Excellent article! voted up

    • Aley Martin profile imageAUTHOR

      Alice Lee Martin 

      7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      thanks HP! Looks like you are the only one willing to tackle commenting on this one! Thanks for doing so!

    • Healthy Pursuits profile image

      Karla Iverson 

      7 years ago from Oregon

      Well, you should get some responses from this! When I see zeal and defensiveness on either side, I, like you, see fear. I think the self-righteousness, anger and contempt that people show for those who don't agree with them is also fear. Anger usually comes from feeling threatened in some way.


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