Like-minded? But, what if...?

by Kathy Coogan

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I read a recent Facebook post that read, “If you want to be in a room of like-minded people, join…” That might sound attractive to some but my spontaneous reaction was to wonder what is the appeal of like-mindedness?

I picture a group of people patting themselves on the back, being “supportive” and coloring inside the lines of two dimensional drawings. I wonder what happens if someone different-minded slips in the door? Does the ambiance shatter? Does the temperature drop? Does the comfort level diminish?

The implication is that being like-minded is essential to the success of, the enjoyment of, even participation in this group. Is there a means test for participation in a like-minded group? What are the requirements? What is forbidden?

Is there an underlying implication that different-minded folks will automatically be discourteous, contentious and dangerous? Will different-minded folks who infiltrate be silenced or discouraged, unwelcome and ousted?

Does the desire for diversity fly apart when ideas are considered? Is the goal of diversity to be only a photo-op of people of different colors, eye-shapes, physical abilities and couple-combos. Must they be marching in single file down a narrow path of ideas?

There it is. There is the word that has been snaking into my awareness. Narrow. Like-minded might just be the politically correct code for narrow-minded.

I don’t think I want to join that group. I think I’ll continue to enjoy thinking and discussing, agreeing and disagreeing, learning and growing in the tangle of creative, unusual, different-thinking, yes, truly diverse people in which I am blessed to travel.

So, If you don't want to be in a room of like-minded people, join me in the messy, though, interesting real world.

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