Open Letter to Anyone Who Won’t Read It — Reblogged from John Branyan

What is a closed mind? Well, we all have various reasons for refusing to listen to others. The one that should scare us involves pride. Note that last line that I quoted below.

You’re not reading this simply because… I wrote it.

Why should we reject listening to or reading what another person says or writes? If our reason is simply the fact that person does not affirm us, swell us with pleasure because they tell us how wonderful we are, then we have a closed mind. We have put blinders upon our self. We have covered our ears. We have rejected the opportunity to learn what “truths” exist beyond those we have already claimed as our own.

First, I’m sorry that you aren’t reading this.

I’m concerned for you.

Refusing to listen to opposing points of view is harmful.

Jamming your fingers so deeply in your ears will puncture your eardrums.

Burying your head in the sand is bad for your sinuses…

…and leaves your butt vulnerable to flying objects (and sunburn).

But it is even worse for you.

You’re not reading this simply because… I wrote it. (continued here)

Consider what the Bible says about hearing and seeing.

Matthew 13:10-17 Amplified Bible (AMP)

An Explanation

10 Then the disciples came to Him and asked, “Why do You speak to the crowds in parables?” 11 Jesus replied to them, “To you it has been granted to know the [a]mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. 12 For whoever has [spiritual wisdom because he is receptive to God’s word], to him more will be given, and he will be richly and abundantly supplied; but whoever does not have [spiritual wisdom because he has devalued God’s word], even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 This is the reason I speak to the crowds in parables: because while [having the power of] seeing they do not see, and while [having the power of] hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand and grasp [spiritual things]. 14 In them the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,

You will hear and keep on hearing, but never understand;
And you will look and keep on looking, but never comprehend;
For this nation’s heart has grown hard,
And with their ears they hardly hear,
And they have [tightly] closed their eyes,
Otherwise they would see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart, and turn [to Me]
And I would heal them [spiritually].’

16 But blessed [spiritually aware, and favored by God] are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, many prophets and righteous men [who were honorable and in right standing with God] longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

9 thoughts on “Open Letter to Anyone Who Won’t Read It — Reblogged from John Branyan

  1. I read a blog entry today about social “bubbles” and how they form pretty organically.
    It’s interesting because most of us never think about how or why we choose our environments, or how much we influence behavior patterns, even when we’re unaware of it.
    We seldom think it’s a choice at all.
    Say I step into a room with twenty arbitrary people in it. I quickly assess which person I would have the most commonality with. For example, if everyone is in uniform and I’m an aviator I will look for the people in flight suits….because spending time talking with each person about their unique character traits and interests isn’t immediately practical.
    From the article:
    “A few years ago I had lunch with another psychiatrist-in-training and realized we had totally different experiences with psychotherapy.

    We both got the same types of cases. We were both practicing the same kinds of therapy. We were both in the same training program, studying under the same teachers. But our experiences were totally different. In particular, all her patients had dramatic emotional meltdowns, and all my patients gave calm and considered analyses of their problems, as if they were lecturing on a particularly boring episode from 19th-century Norwegian history.”

    Sometimes our environments pick us, sometimes we pick our environments.
    We’re pretty much all living in bubbles though we don’t realize it.
    It isn’t always a put your fingers in your ears and say “lalalalala” situation. LOL

    1. Just to add…
      “Victimhood” can be very unifying too, particularly when it is rewarded and encouraged.
      If you’re the odd man out calling for reason when everyone else is screaming the reality of the self-described victim being the only reality that matters…even if it isn’t true. Well, you’re swimming against the tide.
      See the numerous trends in social outrage du jour.
      Social bubbles can form around (self described) victimhood too. People receive positive reinforcement and accolades for their “bravery”. Kind of takes on a life of its own, and can impact memory (see false memory syndrome).

      1. Interesting. This actually sounds like the subject of a good post.

        Some Bible verses come to mind.
        Matthew 13:1-23
        Proverbs 4:18-19

        When we are in a bubble, to a large extent I think that is a choice. Instinctively, we try to stay with what is familiar because it seems safe. It is also an educational issue. Somewhere along the line, if we are properly taught, we need to learn how to challenge our assumptions and the value of doing so.

        We gain wisdom through study and experience. If we are unwilling to share in the knowledge and experiences of others, we cut ourselves off from much that is of value. If we build bubbles around our children and teach them to stay in them (what is done overtly in an authoritarian/totalitarian state), we make unreasoning bigots out of them. If, on the other hand, we teach our children to love God and each other, we give them the tools to strive for understanding and greater wisdom. With each thing they learn, we teach them to ask a simple question. If God is love, what do you think He would want you to do about this?

  2. Branyan is great fun. I appreciate his voice.

    For me, one of the funniest accusations on the internet is, “go back to your echo chamber.” Especially comical when someone is at my blog yelling at me about it. I seem to have misplaced my echo chamber. Let me know if you see it laying around anywhere. 🙂

    1. Agreed. I had a good chuckle. He is good when he is serious too.

      I have not found your echo chamber, but you are welcome to borrow mine. No doubt I can find someone who can help me find it.

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