Many arguments, many prejudices, and many wars have been based on people not being willing to consider the other side or people being so stuck in their ways that neither is willing to budge. I believe that understanding and tolerance is crucial for positive communication and harmony among people. We as a people must have some sense of open-mindedness and relate ability in order to some to more effective and less violent solutions to our problems.
Too many times have I witnessed and participated in arguments that can not be won because neither I nor my contender was willing to be wrong. Thus, the arguments and disagreements go absolutely nowhere. We need to be okay with the fact that we may be wrong, in so, being corrected. The willingness to be corrected and change your ways displays your strength and integrity. Understanding requires welcoming correction.
Now, we know that we all have a tendency to jump to conclusions too quickly. Our society teaches us not to judge a book by its cover but it is in our human nature to automatically form a conclusion once we see something or have experienced something. This leads to stereotypes and prejudices. Maybe if we take the time to talk to people we would realize that things may not be as they might have at first glance appeared. After which, we then weigh the answers and take into consideration the responses. That doesn’t mean that you have to change yourself or the way you act towards people, but I believe that you will subtly and gradually change as you come into more understanding because it will cause you to see things differently, thus making you react differently. I believe that understanding requires us to consider facts instead of preconceived notions.
The result of being close minded and ignorant is only one of detriment. If we choose to remain in a state of unwillingness to learn of other ideas, cultures, beliefs, etc., the we will get caught up in things such ethnocentrism and ostracizing people. Things like these are what leads to things like genocides and racism. Seeing ourselves as being superior to others is to our disadvantage and we are no better than stagnant water; there is no growth. I believe understanding requires us to except others and equals and not inferiors.
To sum it all up, we all would benefit greatly from taking the time to analyze and become familiar with our dealings in life. We must first identify our situations and problems. Then we need to consider steps toward resolutions. Lastly, we need to reach some kind of conclusion based on what has been considered. Understanding doesn’t solve everything but I do believe that through understanding and tolerance, we can reach some sort of international open-mindedness and consideration, and that we can reach some level of harmony and exercise positive communication.