Openness is being honest, clear, sincere, sharing who we are and what we feel without pretense. It is the willingness to consider new ideas and listen to others with an open mind. We reveal our thoughts candidly without attempting to manage the responses of others. We hold no hidden agendas. We are more interested in connecting than controlling. We listen to others’ feelings with compassionate curiosity. When we are open, we are receptive to the blessings and surprises of life.
In Family Life
In a family, the virtue of Openness manifests as a culture of transparent communication, active listening, and a genuine willingness to share thoughts, feelings, and concerns. It’s demonstrated through family members valuing and respecting each other’s perspectives, even when they differ, and creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable expressing themselves without fear of judgment.
Openness also involves sharing both positive and challenging experiences, fostering a sense of unity through shared vulnerability. In this kind of family, discussions about important decisions, emotions, and even conflicts are approached with empathy and a desire to understand, allowing for growth, compromise, and a deeper connection among all members.
“To open deeply, as genuine spiritual life requires, we need tremendous courage and strength, a kind of warrior spirit.”
— Jack Kornfield, A Path With Heart
The Practice of Openness
- I am honest and transparent.
- I am direct and candid in sharing my perspective.
- I appreciate new ideas and possibilities.
- I sincerely want to communicate.
- I have no hidden motives.
- I care about the views and feelings of others.
- I am willing to receive life’s bounties.