In The Box

Bagaimana menyadarkan katak bahwa ia berada di dalam tempurung, jika ia sendiri tidak tahu tempurung itu apa?

How can you make a frog realize that it’s been under a coconut shell, if it has no knowledge what a coconut shell is?

(There’s an Indonesian proverb “Like a frog under a coconut shell”, meaning: A frog which lives or spends its entire life under a coconut shell will think that the coconut shell is the world. It has no knowledge about anything outside its shell; it refuses to go out, assuming that there’s nothing outside its shell – it’s being blissfully happy and stubbornly ignorant.)


To be honest, I am sick of all shallow-minded people. The most annoying thing about shallow-minded people is their stubbornness. Second is their blind “faith”. Third is their fanaticism.

Open-minded people are more likely to admit their mistakes or accept others’ opinion if they are given proof or being convinced (without prejudices), since they are more objective and open, and they know they can’t be right forever. They understand that nothing is absolute. It is always pleasurable to hear opinions or arguments from those who have open minds – it’s like having multiple mind orgasms.

On the other side, shallow-minded people feel happy being inside their tiny boxes, and get angry easily when people point out that their boxes are only a few among other zillions boxes. They refuse to get out of their boxes to see for themselves – is this simply because of disbelief, or because of fear of knowing that they’ve been wrong the entire time? What irritates me the most is their reluctance to learn about others’ ideas or opinions. Most of the times, they instantly refuse to acknowledge anything which is against their own ideas or opinions. Personally, I think this is very stupid. Nature didn’t give you brains to be wasted, people.

Once you’ve seen enough, you’ll realize that things which shallow-minded people see as big problems are actually not as important as they thought they are. The “outside” world is already moving so much further ahead. While a few people are still subjectively debating which thing is right or wrong, others have found objective ways to solve the problem. That is the difference.

It amazes me how these shallow-minded people rarely realize (let alone admit) their mind-shallowness. But then, with those small minds, they won’t be capable of seeing their own shallowness, will they? Because being open-minded requires certain level of intelligence.

I am very aware that by writing this, I implicitly imply that I am among those who are open-minded. However, I am not. I dare say that I am trying to be open-minded most of the times, but it doesn’t mean that I am always open-minded. Sometimes I get too shallow that I should’ve been embarrassed of myself. Furthermore, this post is one actual proof that I can still be a shallow-minded person, because I criticize too much, and this writing is subjective.

I have met a lot of open-minded people; they both scare and amaze me. They scare me because some of them are too agreeable that sometimes it seems like they do not bow to any common “rules” or principles. I guess it is the problem. The shallower people see those who are more open as “have no boundaries”, or “too free”, or even a threat for (their) community (a.k.a their boxes). In my opinion, this prejudice is quite unfair. For me, there is no correlation between someone’s principles and their “state of mind”. Having different (standard for making) principles doesn’t mean that the person is more shallow or open. It’s only a matter of perception. Plus, open mind doesn’t mean “have no principles”. In fact, it’s quite the contrary.

Shallowness of mind is refusing to accept the fact that everyone can be right and you yourself can be wrong – like a frog under the coconut shell, they are unable to grasp the concept that there are lots of possibilities for anything outside their delicate mind. Like my friend once said, “The truth is one; its version is many.” (@gabby_X_gabby)

Being an open-minded sometimes also means doubting yourself from time to time, willing to accept that you are still far from perfect, and there will be always someone or something that you can learn from. Being an open-minded is a process, and everyone has to ever be at the starting point to finish the journey. To be able to get out of the box, we must be being in the box first.

In the end, I think we do need both shallow-minded people and open-minded ones. Why? Because diversity is beautiful. I only wish that the latter group is more in quantity (no need to compare the quality between the two groups) than the former said.


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