Have you ever found yourself desperately trying to have a friend see something from your point of view? Have you ever had that friend blindly disagree with you? “I believe what I believe, and I will never change my mind.” It’s this type of narrow-minded thinking that deprives this world of truth and brings about things such as racism, homophobia, and just plain hatred. I strive to be as open-minded as possible in my own life, because I know we are all different, and that’s okay. I myself have experienced and witnessed different forms of hatred and discrimination towards others, as I’m sure many of you have as well, and it’s time for a change.
When people are not open-minded, it creates a type of void that separates ideas and people alike. Many of these ideals are outdated and passed on from previous generations. According to a Poll done in 2012 by the Associated Press, 51% of Americans expressed anti-black sentiments. That’s a 3% increase from 2008. A report done by the Department of Justice also revealed that 17% of hate crimes are for religious reasons, while 21% are attributed to sexual orientation. In this day in age, those statistics should be a little jarring to hear. Narrow-minded attitudes are the reasoning behind these spiteful prejudices and actions, and it’s a shame it’s so prevalent.
Spend some time broadening your horizons, and find someone that is different than you. Whether that difference is their skin color, their beliefs, or who they find sexually attractive, explore those differences and let them open up your mind. Make a new friend, and celebrate your uniqueness. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you believe, or who you love. We are all humans just the same. Break down your barriers, get a little uncomfortable if you have to, and explore the world around you. The change starts with us, make it a change for the better.