I believe that we are becoming increasingly incapable of understanding opinions that differ from our own, and are unwilling to change our minds. Humanity has become exceptionally good at creating towering walls to hide our fear of “being wrong” that also hinder us from understanding others’ points of view.

The cover-ups continue as we build walls higher and wider, even though we know that eventually the walls will crumble.

I recently had a conversation with someone who thinks that president Obama is Jesus Christ. I was told that Obama is incapable of making mistakes and everything he has done over the past eight years has been correct. When something went wrong, it was the fault of external forces. The person I was talking with was unwilling to say that Obama was imperfect, even with evidence proving otherwise.

Since Obama’s term is already done (he’ll be in vacation mode for the rest of the year), let’s ask a few questions. What happened to improving America? Have we reduced poverty? Has race relations improved? What about America’s foreign policy? How do other countries view Americans today? Is the dream of America’s founders still alive in our time? Is America more united than eight years ago?

The desire to avoid facts and others’ opinions isn’t just a government problem. Wanting to build a wall instead of talking openly and honestly is ingrained in us all:

“The (insert political party) is always right.”
“Syrian refugees are more important than other refugees.”
“It will never be my job to clean up after myself, no matter the rules.”
“The toxic waste we buried beside the waterway is safe.”
“The health care system of the 1900s is still perfect today.”
“Justin Trudeau is handsome and therefore a great prime minister.”
“I own a large house, but there’s nothing more I can do for those suffering in (insert far-off country here).”

It’s exasperating for me to understand these points of view when, after simple inquiries on my part, the walls continue to be built higher and higher.

We need to allow for openness and connectivity in healthy, productive environments, resulting in honest discussions and improvement in our communities.

Opinions should not be immovable walls. Opinions should be like oceans, wild and constantly moving. It’s okay to change our minds just like it’s okay for oceans to have waves. We should be constantly welcoming new information and adjusting our mindset.

My opinions, crafted from everything around me since before I was born, aren’t all correct, but are constantly evolving – like an ocean. I know that some of my opinions are certainly wrong and every day I reinforce some opinions and evolve others. I hope for wisdom and eagerness to determine when I should rethink my opinion and not only understand others’ points of view, but change my thinking to reflect a constantly evolving world.

A short video from eight years ago. Quite the promises…