Keeping an open mind the key to happiness

By Nick Arhos

Nick, you don’t know what you would do in a situation until you have experienced it first-hand.”

These are the words my cousin spoke to me after a heated conversation we had this summer about the issue of abortion.

I immediately thought of some of my politically liberal-leaning friends and how intolerant of conservative views they sometimes can be. But then I also thought of myself.

I, who leans toward conservative ideals, also have been close-minded in the past – and have felt the misery that accompanies it.

Thus, my cousin’s words have become one of the cornerstone lessons of my psychological and social life, making me a healthier person overall.

I’ve come to believe we are healthier and better-functioning when we keep an open mind instead of stubbornly anchoring ourselves to one view or traditional belief.

And I want you to be like me by making the decision today to lift the anchor of your past mindsets and open your hearts and minds to new ideas.

I’ve decided to write about the importance of keeping an open mind in my first column because I know my column is read by people from all corners of our society’s spectrum.

Some readers probably will disagree with me on multiple issues. But that doesn’t mean I’m not right. In fact, they probably are wrong but are simply too close-minded to realize it – just as I was a short while back.

Let me give you an example. I believe my personal values will always keep me pro-life. But after pondering some of the tough questions my cousin brought to my attention, I can say honestly that if I were a woman, perhaps my views would be altered.

Experiences also force us to rethink many of the staunch positions we’ve held previously.

Like me, many of you were wrong in the past and are currently wrong.

You automatically may rule out conservatives as “old-fashioned” or conclude that liberals are cuckoo.

Whatever the case, the close-minded person is a fool.

And I feel bad for them. I hate to imagine the horrible atmosphere they create – and live in – every day.

The bottom line: It’s time to open up our minds and get on the path to greater joy! Let a river of fresh ideas flow into you!

A potential source of these fresh ideas? In all honesty, the author of this piece is a spring for fresh ideas.

I want you to remember one thing: I am right on many issues – although you may think I’m wrong.

And even if I am, in fact, wrong, the one thing you will come away with by reading me every week is knowledge and perspective on a plethora of topics you won’t find anywhere else.

Look for me every Thursday, and remember to keep an open mind for a happier you.

Columns reflect the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of the Northern Star staff.