According to research differential thinking within a group is the only way to progress. Therefore different opinions are so important in the society and in particular, in academia. In my experience, being open-minded and friendly with those who disagree with you creates enormous opportunities for getting new ideas, attracting students, collaborators, funding. And overall, it enriches life tremendously.
So why is it so hard sometimes to be open-minded? I think it is because of fear not to get it right. No matter what we do it is very seductive to be driven by wish to succeed.. And for me that’s where it starts going wrong. When I am into the topic but not a result my mind has no ready solution. Instead it keeps on observing, analyzing the reality, data, sutiation, and wondering on the next step. That’s the most joyful experience I have ever had. And as soon as I bear with me a ready opinion on something I stop observing and listening. This is where I am done learning, understanding others and actually, stop enjoying.
Karl Popper wrote that ideas are subjected to natural selection the same way as living beings. There are lots of them in the begining but only the fittest survive. Similarly, to stay fit and survive, we shall expose our minds to new experiences, opinions and ideas.. It is a hard work but outcome of it sometimes blows my mind:)