‘Emancipate yourself from mental slavery’ is a famous phrase by Marcus Garvey used in the Jamaican space, particularly during the independence season, but are we really working to emancipate ourselves and truly free our minds? Are we open-minded to change or close-minded to stagnation? As Jamaicans, how independent is our mindset? Can this be taught or innate?
Former University Director of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies (IDGS), Cultural Activist and Writer, Professor Opal Palmer Adisa and Social Development Practitioner and Founder of Nexxstepp shares their viewpoint on the importance of an independent mindset within the context of being open or closed-minded. Watch the full discussion here:
An open-minded individual tends to be curious about why there is disagreement or a different perspective. They understand that there is always the possibility that they might be wrong and it is good to consider the other person’s views. Open-minded people see disagreement as a thoughtful means to expand their knowledge. They do not get angry or upset at questions rather, they want to identify where the disagreement lies so they can correct their misperceptions.
Closed-minded individuals typically do not want their ideas challenged. They are usually frustrated that they cannot get their way, instead of being curious as to why the other person disagrees. Closed-minded individuals are more interested in proving themselves right than getting the best outcome. They do not ask questions. They want to show you where you are wrong without understanding another person’s point of view. Oftentimes they get angry when you ask them to explain something. Nobody wants to admit to themselves that they are closed-minded. However, the ability to change one’s mind is a superpower.