“Interestingly, one of the initial impediments to open-mindedness is not ignorance but ideology. This is especially true in America, where (particularly in “progressive” circles) we have politicized open-mindedness to the point that it isn’t so open-minded anymore. Indeed, regardless of whether your sympathies lean to the left or the right, you aren’t going to learn anything new if you continually use politics as a lens through which to view the world. At home, political convictions are a tool for getting things done within your community; on the road, political convictions are a clumsy set of experiential blinders, compelling you to seek evidence for conclusions you have already drawn.
This is not to say that holding political beliefs is wrong—it’s just that politics are naturally reductive, and the world is infinitely complex. Cling too fiercely to your ideologies and you’ll miss the subtle realities that politics can’t address…”
—Rolf Potts, Vagabonding. (New York: Villard, 2003), 161-162.