Once I've formed an opinion about something, in an attempt to not live in a vacuum of self-importance, I always ask myself, "What if I'm wrong?" Then I argue with myself about both sides. Of course its better to have this actual conversation with someone who has a different opinion - I can't think of everything - but the problem, the real problem arises when the person I'm engaging *actually* believes that they are right, and I am wrong. At that point they will no longer accept my input to see how it fits into their world view, and I'm suddenly offered nothing usable because of it in return. Which is why I ceaselessly play this game only with myself. Ideally, the practice would make me more well-rounded.
You can't confine open-mindedness to particular subjects or scenarios. You either are, or you are not. Example: Someone willing to discuss the pros and cons of both political parties, but who refuses to entertain the possibility that Christ's divinity was fabricated. Or perhaps worse - someone willing to discuss Christ's divinity but unable to budge on party-politics. Across the board I find bright, smart, curious, people who can seemingly articulate two opposing points of view...until it comes down to something they simply refuse to change on. How exactly does that work?
So trapped I remain. Trapped by being open-minded about being open-minded. You cannot extol virtues of mine that you find conducive to your personal code of ethics without accepting the same ones which may run contrary to it. Its all or nothing. It has to be. Any other way and its impure. Fallible. Yet....where does one draw the line?
Without boundaries, anarchy. But if we're the ones who have defined society, why can't we control it? Its not that I don't care, I simply feel that sometimes I'm too passive, too malleable. Yet I suffer at my own hands. Its not enough to think it, you have to do it. Push the envelope with your person, feel its texture on your fingertips. Otherwise how would you truly know? Its absolutely essential to test and retest with each nuanced variable, for without is real chaos. Chaos and anarchy borne from both extremes. One lifetime with too many boundaries, and one with not enough. Wherein lies true balance?
Surely somewhere in the middle.