"A closed mind is like a closed book…
Arriving at the airport is already striking fear into the mind. It's created to be a death trap, a place where people now understand that it could be the last thing they ever see. Terrorism, bombs, explosives, knives and the sense of sitting in a tightly enclosed coffin hurtling thousands of metres above the safety of the earth. The media controls our mind in this aspect, by reporting on the latest emergency landings, crashes, bomb rumours and drug dealers trying to trade their stock through. Television shows such as "Borderline Security" also instil this fear of arriving and departing from an airport. The stress and nerves are so blatantly evident in the public people there, customs officers and even the janitors. There is a very fine glassed ceiling above that nobody wishes to break or cross the line upon. You just cannot be relaxed at an airport, and the heavy searches through customs make you feel guilty no matter how innocent one can be. Stereotypes, race and personal perspectives all come into play at this one place. You are one of many, and you may be the one that gets caught.
Perhaps it is from this reason that people arrive in new countries fearful and protective rather than open and optimistic. The stress of the airport tears apart the soul inside of an individual, that large fear of danger that was so close. It takes a while to shake it off, and being in a new country with new cultures does not help at all. We become resistant to learn, hesitant to understand and end up fighting for our own culture to exist. Talking to people we know we can relate to instead of meeting others, locals, who can teach you so much. Many do sometimes question why people are closed minded to new places and ideas. The airport and its stress can be a factor, but I think an insight view into an individual can also bring out new answers.
Naturally, humans and really most animals on Earth are very proud. We have natural pride in our systems and protection over what is ours. We live to fight and protect what is rightfully ours to our own mind. Such as animals protecting their homes, we would protect our houses and personal possessions in similar ways. We defend our rights, freedom of speech for example, in ways of protests and in the past (even now) riots and violent ordeals. The things we hold dear to ourselves we will defend mercilessly. I believe personally that it is this problem that causes closed-mindedness over new cultures and ideas. We are so used to being in our own 'safe-spots' in our country, home and area. We are so attached to our friends and family, that once they are gone we will do everything possible to keep them near and known. It is easier to do because were used to it. The fact of learning something brings a sense of boredom to people, a sense that they will somehow 'lose' their own culture in the process, even as if they are abandoning or resigning from it. Become a traitor? Hardly so.
It is a cruel thing that people prosecute and attack others for wanting to go overseas and learn new cultures, that when that person returns home (supposedly changed) they are stricken down by people that were close to them. "You've changed, I don't like you." That sort of thing. In our society, it is from my view, that people (even younger children) just do not want to learn and explore until they are much older. Young teenagers hating school from an early age due to boredom of learning, even learning necessities of survival they just dislike acting in the way they are asked. Some people are racist to those trying to learn, scoff and laugh behind the backs of newcomers to the country or area (even school) because they are different. People stay away from them, it's an awful sight to see but (to my disgust) can be seen as quite a natural reaction. It brings down the aspect of equality in a group of people, they attempt to be equal but a media storm that arrays around them through television, radio and newspapers brings up an image. A stereotyped image of what that person is and what he does.
I will never forget turning on CNN in the wave of the "War On Iraq" and just seeing people (supposedly citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan) blowing things up and killing. Was I one of the few who just had yelled in fury how obscene it was that this is the image the media presented. The purpose may have been to show severity, but overriding that is the purpose to prove that they are the enemy. Propaganda shown helplessly in a nations face, and so easily done. That same example is shown for other cultures and basic stereotypes that we now take to far.
It's a sad thing. Really is…
Our minds are naturally closed, but now its definitely time to open them more and embrace. We are all individuals, and not part of any stereotype people may assume. Learn about new people, allow them to teach you their culture whilst you teach them yours.
…it's just a block of wood."