on total objectivity
This is more of a stream of conscious word vomit jotted down while listening to "Saint‐Saëns." I simply aimed to spur reflection on how "total objectivity" is a complicated concept subject to human nature.
When folks say they are open-minded or open to new ideas, experiences, and people, I cannot help but question how truly open they are.
While being open seems like a virtuous quality, upon deeper examination, I believe we are all selective in many aspects of our lives, whether we care to admit it or not.
No one can honestly say they are willing to accept or consider anything and everything without prejudice. We all have preferences, preconceived notions, and biases that shape our perceptions and judgments in subtle ways.
Our backgrounds, upbringings, core beliefs, and life experiences cause us to gravitate towards some things and shy away from others in an entirely human and normal fashion.
Total objectivity is an unrealistic ideal that few, if any, can genuinely claim to possess.
When meeting new people, I have found that I am more comfortable interacting with some personality types over others. While I strive to give everyone a fair chance and keep an open mind, factors like shared interests, attitudes, and communication styles play a strong role in chemistry and first impressions, whether I intend them to or not.
In the same way, when encountering unfamiliar ideas or information, I tend to process and weigh things through the lens of my existing knowledge and convictions.
Regarding music, art, cuisine, vacations, and other experiences, most of us prefer some options decidedly over others based on personal preferences shaped by our upbringing and background.
Few expand their comfort zones without limits.
Even the most well-traveled and open-minded individuals stick primarily to cuisines, activities, and cultures they have a certain familiarity with and inclination toward.
So, in conclusion, when people purport to have completely open and unbiased minds, I have my doubts.
While keeping an open and growth-oriented attitude is admirable, a degree of selectivity is human nature. Total objectivity may be an unrealistic standard to hold ourselves or others to.
We all view the world through tinted lenses to an extent, so a little humility is in order when touting one's openness. True open-mindedness involves an awareness of our blind spots and a willingness to consider alternatives.