The race is on, for people to open their minds. To be able to think wider, to consider other possibilities, and to come up with new and innovative solutions. Hell, even our Prime Minister is banging on about it. The development of human capital, he calls it.
To me, this is not the correct race with the right objective. The point, I feel, should not be for people to open up their mind, but for people to replace the track that it is on. That is to say, to not achieve the state of the one-track mind.
What is the one-track mind?
For me, the one-track mind is the direction in which the thinking is directed. Having an open mind, the ability to consider many other points of view is, while desirable, is pointless if one comes to the same conclusion on the same issues every single time.
In other words, while the person is able to think of the pros and cons, he or she will inevitably move in the same direction and come to the same conclusion that a person who wouldn't be able to do so do.
Does that make sense?
I like Chris Rock. He's one of my favourite comedians, partly because he's funny, but mainly because his humour is grounded in the truth. “Everybody is really, really keen on being somebody with a political identity,” he said. “I'm a Republican, man, I'm a Republican, so I'm against abortion,” he mocks, “or, I'm a Democrat, man, I'm a Democrat, so I'm pro abortion. But you know what? I think that whoever makes up their mind before they come across an issue is a fucking fool!”
You can't put it any better than that.
Of course, it is still possible to be open minded and come to the same conclusion reasonably. I mean, that is what reasoning is all about, right? To make decisions that are based on sound truths, rather than half-baked lies. But for the most part, in my opinion, the opinions of others are still made on a narrow, fast speed track.
And that is the case in Malaysia still. Boy and girl go into a secluded area? They must be making out or having sex. It is completely impossible for them to merely talk.
Boy calls up girl, he must be having the crush on her. Not likely for him to just call up and say hello as a friend.
That guy is Malay, therefore he must be a Muslim. Can't separate in the mind of the fact that race and religion are two completely different characteristics altogether.
Someone says Assalamualaikum, it must be only from one Muslim to another. People forget that the phrase has NOTHING to do with Islam, merely the expression of greetings in Arabic that says, Peace be upon you.
Try that on a Chinese here, and see how he or she reacts.
And yet it goes on, the call for the development of the first world mind in a third world country. But in my opinion, based on my observations thus far, that won't be achieved unless people strive not only to have an open mind, but also to put that mind on the shifting track.
To not have the one-track mind.