Saturday, February 26, 2011

But Have You Tried It?

The other day I was with a group of friends and we were discussing books we have read.  I mentioned that I had read "The Shack" by William P.Young.  I said I liked it and that I had learned from it.

One of my friends stated that he didn't like the book and didn't agree with some of the ideas put forth by the author.  I asked him what ideas he disagreed with.

"Well", he said, "I didn't actually read the book.  Our preacher said that he did not approve of it, so I know I wouldn't like it or approve of it, either."

I paused to let that sink in a few seconds.  This was certainly not the first time I had faced such shallow thinking, but it always catches me a little bit by surprise.

Me:  If you haven't read the book, how can you say you don't like it based on what someone else said?

Him:  I always agree with my preacher.

I came away from this exchange feeling disappointed in my friend's ability to think and reason on his own.  But, as I say, like most of us, I have run into this pattern of behavior before.  You really cannot reason, discuss or debate with anyone who simply has their mind made up with no substance behind their reasoning.

The same thing often happens when the topic of conversation is movies.  While I believe that it is impossible for me to discuss or pass judgement on a movie I have not actually seen, others do not seem to share that feeling.  This is frustrating.  Often, a person will simply state, "I read the reviews of the movie, so I know it is not good."

When I think back on the times I read movie reviews and then saw the movie, I have to say that I completely disagreed with at least half of all the reviews that I have read. 

And how about when the subject of food is discussed?  Without question, men are the worst when it comes to being closed-minded on this.  Generally speaking, most men eat about four things only:  meat, potatoes (must be either mashed, baked, french fried, hashed or chips---no scalloped potatoes or any other fancy schmancy version), corn-on-the-cob, and sweets of various kinds. 

Men, in particular, do not want to try anything outside their comfort zone.  No vegetables or fruits.  Interestingly, if you ask these narrow thinkers if they have ever even tried any foods outside meat and spuds, they usually say no.  Haven't tried it and don't intend to.

My mom had a rule for my brother and me when we were growing up.  Whatever she served for dinner, we at least had to take one good bite of it before we said we didn't like it.  That's probably the main reason I like just about any food that exists.... except beets and cous cous, of course.

But, my point here is that it's difficult for me to understand the rampant pattern of behavior where so many people have their minds made up on subjects they have never experienced.  

What are your thoughts on this?


  1. Oy vey. Don't get me started...

    Being raised in the Catholic church, they often issued ratings or warnings of movies they felt were inappropriate for Catholics to see. Whatever...

  2. I think that some people are taught when children that the parents way is the only way going. Then when these children grow up they look to other 'authority' figures to guide them, be it a preacher, guru, TV celebrity. They never question whether they may be right or wrong. They miss out on so much. How could you not like fruit?

  3. A good subject we all can relate to. I think my pet peeve are the ones with opinions about books and movies that they have not read or seen!

  4. I was taught to make judgments only about things or events that I know
    I do not like people who say one thing to hear without having a personal experience.
    For us, food is sacred, everything you eat and there is no I do not like!
    Ciao Clint!

  5. As the old adage says " You can't judge a book by it's cover".


  6. My father gave me in my childhood, always kept food under my nose, I did not like. Something unforgettable. There are foods that I like even today.
    Greetings Sabine

  7. life is much more exciting when we step outside our box!=)

  8. I make up my my own opinion about something before I can talk about anything. People are different, an it's purely a matter of taste.

    Sunny greetings from Tenerife

  9. Clint...people approach Christianity in the same way. They've "read the reviews" but they have never experienced it for themselves. A provoking post

  10. Hi Clint, I think people are just different. And your observation about men is funny, I see some truth in it;)

  11. Good morning Clint. This is a very interesting post. I never gave it much thought, but you are so right when it comes to some folks never trying something just because their pastor told them that it was not good. This is where I usually get into a little "hot water" with the pastor of the church where my wife and I attend. Like I told him one time about a movie I wanted to take my wife too....he told me that it was the "devils work"...well I went anyways and to tell you the truth - I really enjoyed it.

    I sort of fit into your mold you portray of men and food. I am getting better now about trying different types of food, but I was raised on corn, beans, carrots, potatoes and meat. Great post. God bless, Lloyd

  12. I've lived a long time and am stilled surprised by the number of adults who don't use their God-given abilities to reason and form their own opinions. Sometimes it is funny, but mostly it's sad. As teenagers we resist being told anything, as adults too many of us are willing to drink another's Kool-Aid. Have a great day, Clint.

  13. We absolutely shouldn't judge a book by its cover. So fitting isn't it? It surprises me how many people judge something before they know even an ounce of what it might be or what its about. Great post as always :)

  14. Hi Clint -

    Thank you for sharing this valuable message.

    GOD gave us INDIVIDUAL minds for a purpose.

    What came to mind when I read this is the Jim Jones tragedy. Those people believed their "pastor," followed him out of the USA and drank poison liquid.

    Lord, please help us to believe YOU above all else, and to use the minds that you gave us to discern. Lord, You command us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

    Romans 12:2 - KJV
    And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.