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?