In Buddhism there is a concept called “Beginner’s mind.” That is the wide-open, nonjudgmental state our mind is in right before we clog it up with silly things like certainty and close-mindedness. We can be so certain of our opinions and beliefs sometimes that there is little or no room for discussion.
Our country is so polarized right now. Especially when it comes to politics. One only needs to spend a few minutes watching the various cable news stations to see how ridiculous things have become. There are no discussions anymore of policy and issues, just shouting matches. Each talking head clings so tightly to their opinions as if they were clutching a bag of gold.
It’s is sad to see that type of polarization trickle down to the point where it’s difficult to talk about politics in any situation. In reading Chris Mills’ column this week he talks about wanting to interview the Young Republicans Club at Groton Dunstable High, only to be rebuffed simply because they were offended by his views. What a shame that is. Here is an opportunity to have a dialogue, and share views on both sides, and that opportunity is lost because some people are so threatened by the views of others, that they cannot bear to hear them.
Is that where our country is headed? Are we so partisan now that we won’t even talk to people who belong to the “opposing party?” I certainly hope not. We have a lot of work to do here in our state, and in our country. That work needs to be done with the cooperation of both parties and to be able to do that, both sides should try as much as possible to have a “beginners mind” and work together for the benefit of us all.