The concept and reality of being open-minded and living in a country that has its very heart large open is orgasmic.
However, as orgasmic as this is in theory, the world is one large, sad loop of ‘closedness’; one that is very tight on ways it isn’t familiar with.
This makes it difficult for much of the 7.8 billion persons on the face of the earth to grasp the core of the concept.
Conversely, this also presents a challenge for many of the citizens who live in countries with large, open minds: they wonder why every country on earth isn’t as open as theirs!
A true, sleek, dicey situation – one best felt and experienced firsthand than explained.
However, that’s business for another day. Today, let’s take a look at the top 10 most open-minded countries in the world.
First things first though: what does it mean when a country wears the ‘open-minded’ tag?
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What Does It Mean When It Is Said That A Country Is Open Minded?
Being open-minded encompasses a lot of things: an individual may be open-minded by being friendly and tolerant of others not exactly like themselves.
An individual might have his/her circle of friends that they relate with each other to a great extent, drawn across divides that the person originally doesn’t share in.
When people relate with each other in the manner detailed above, they gain a lot of advantages ranging from care, love, and support – with some of these spanning entire lifetimes or even enduring for generations!
Being open-minded means, one has the urge to consistently look for new ways to make things work.
This gives more insightful approaches to how to plan economies, organizations, processes, and societies.
Open-mindedness, embraced as a way of life, results in agility, growth, productivity and often, super gainful employment. This helps those who practice it to become rich (wealth itself being a standard for measuring the future success of any country).
Open-mindedness leads to progress too. Open-mindedness is needed to carry out experiments. It means one is willing to accept ideas that will lead to either good or bad things.
This ultimately leads to questions and arguments that advance the very cause of man forward – great examples being man’s first attempt at conquering space, the successes thereafter and the invention of the computer that has since defined the very course of life on earth.
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Why Aren’t All Countries Open Minded If It’s A Great Thing?
For a country, rights, laws, and duties differ.
In some places, for instance, women have limited rights and a great number of responsibilities – a setting that induces a certain thought pattern and reality that is of necessity different from what obtains in other parts of the world where this isn’t an issue.
Again, all people in the world cannot have the same taste, religion, thought, and ideology. Some of these tastes, religions, thoughts and ideologies are in themselves self-limiting and closed by nature. It is only natural, in such circumstances, to have persons (or whole groups of persons) closed-minded.
Finally, as with all social realities, the very idea of ‘open-mindedness’ is a highly subjective social construct. As with all social constructs, it is highly relative and is often interpreted by various persons and countries through various lens.
A person may, for example, feel he or she is open-minded – and can tolerate quite a number of things. However, such a person, because s/he isn’t open to some (other) ideas, may be judged by others as being ‘closed-minded’.
Same thing with countries and by extension, continents.
Relativity of both understanding and appreciation of the concept can, to a large extent, project an entity as either open-minded or completely prejudiced.
Can A Country Be Open-Minded Why Its Citizens Are ‘Closed Minded’ Or Vice Versa?
The citizens of a country may be open-minded, but the government and leaders may be the opposite (or vice versa).
For example, in Thailand being transgender is allowed but the government won’t permit legal documents of either citizens or legal residents to show their chosen gender.
A feminine transgender which everyone sees as a lady will still have her identity card stamped with the masculine gender notation. This is a bias decision on the part of the government because Thailand citizens do not mind relating to their transgender colleagues, friends or family.
Conversely, a country can be open-minded but the population won’t be.
For example, in some parts of the United States, people discriminate against certain religions and races, which the government expressly does not tolerate!
Generally, however, open-mindedness (we have long discovered), is more likely to be embraced in cosmopolitan and metropolitan settings than in countrysides where almost everyone knows the next person, opening room for more judgment-based interactions instead of open and all-embracing ones.
The Top 10 Most Open-Minded Countries In The World
Carefully chronicled below and discussed, are the top 10 most open-minded countries on the surface of our earth.
It is our belief that nowhere else (online or off), will such a comprehensive and all-inclusive list be got.
10. New Zealand
New Zealand has a large, healthy amount of protected ecosystem and stunning greenery – capable of putting even the most troubled mind to rest.
It is a country with a fair and equal share of rights.
The country has a large percentage of Christians but there are also smaller religious practices (or lack of) equally practiced and respected like Atheism. This reality creates a healthy mix that opens up acceptance of positions alien to one’s reality.
Due to its ‘open-minded heart’, the country has a healthy population of immigrants, especially Europeans of Irish and British descent.
The citizens of New Zealand are also protected from racial discrimination by the laws of the state.
These laws are also taken seriously and breaches handled decisively. This has aided the indigenous community, called “Maori”, to live peacefully with immigrants who now call the country home.
Finally, in New Zealand, sexual orientations are generally recognized and the rights of the community members are protected. In 2013, for instance, same-sex couples were allowed to marry, raise a family and pursue their happiness.
Spain has one of the sexiest languages in the entire world! As anyone who has heard Spanish being spoken will attest, the language is not just entertaining to the ear, it has an element of curiosity to it, music and importantly, a longing that one should be part of the speaking process!
However, the sexy language isn’t our primary concern here: the open-mindedness of the country is, though, it is hard to talk about the ‘mind’ without mentioning what the mouth expressly says 🙂
Spain is a country where its citizens enjoy some of the most amazing freedoms the 21st-century affords and importantly, these freedoms have paved the way for citizens, within the borders of Spain to be very accepting and prejudice-free, from the ground up.
For example, in 2005, Spain joined the league of countries that permit marriage between people of the same sex. This happened when the concept was still novel and many countries even in Western Europe and North America were still only just discussing same.
Further, the Spanish state allows citizens to practice their religious beliefs – and largely stays out of the personal religious convictions of persons within its borders. Other rights enjoyed by Spaniards and those who are residents of the country include equal gender rights and equal rights and privileges of immigrants who are interested in calling Spain ‘home’.
Germany is known for many things good. If you’re a petrol-head, great chances are that your respect for the country comes from the fact that they make the best driving automobiles in the entire world: Mercedes Benz, BMW and Audi.
However, beyond the cars, the cities and countrysides of Germany are populated with people who are largely objective and non-discriminatory.
For instance, a person of color is free to walk around the cities, shops and restaurants without inspiring strange looks or outrightly rude, racist comments.
That is but only the beginning: Germany scores high as a nation that is friendly to strangers and highly accommodating of ways of life that are not considered the standard’. Accordingly, thus, gays, atheists and other minority groups are all properly embraced into the larger culture and society.
Finally, the country takes gender equality seriously: it doesn’t matter if you’re a man. woman or transgender. Usually, what only matters for you to get a job or advertised position is simply to show an ability to handle the tasks the job demand and importantly, to show evidence that you have hitherto handled such a role in the past, successfully.
It is that easy and straightforward, usually, in Germany.
7. United States
The United States is the greatest nation on earth – and for good reason too: the country opens its arms to everyone and everybody to both pursue the American Dream and be absolutely happy while doing so.
Populated with people who take their happiness very seriously and further blessed with laws that are open and accommodating of just every law-abiding person on the planet, the country remains an immigration haven, despite the stiff immigration policies, that Donald Trump’s four-year stint at the White House ensured.
Blessed with awesome institutions that are rated amongst the very best worldwide, the United States is, thanks to this, a leading thought leader in many ideologies and thought processes that still, literally, scare other nations.
One of such thought-processes where the US is leading is the right to possess firearms – considered an inalienable right in the country.
Beyond the gun freedoms enjoyed by citizens and residents of the country alike, the country is also blessed with very vocal and convinced persons within its borders: persons who profess their religion (or lack thereof), their sexual orientation (or lack thereof) and just about any other held convictions better than (any) other citizens anywhere else in the world.
Australia is famous (especially, in the 4X4 world) for its abundance of offroad trails and terrains, especially the very famous Outback.
However, the Outback is just one of the attractions that make the country super popular.
Home to some of the best universities in the world, Australia also doubles as home to one of the largest populations of non-judgemental folks in the entire world.
Thanks to the fact that the country-continent is an immigrant-friendly one, there are diverse cultures, religions and skin tones – all making up the vast land and occupying the massive skyscrapers.
Accordingly thus, incidences of racism are super rare and Australians are generally open to strangers and eager to help those in need.
Women’s rights and laws meant to protect the girl child are firmly in place and are respected and applied throughout the country.
Because of this, the country is a favorite spot for immigrants (all around the world especially from Third World Countries) looking for a better life (which, without a doubt, Australia clearly offers).
5. United Kingdom
The United Kingdom, comprising of the Welsh, Scots and English is another wonderful country that is non-discriminatory.
A favorite to many visitors around the globe, the country is one of the most visited today and as a result, is a melting point of cultures, religions and perspectives.
Home to some of the oldest (and best) universities in the world, academic tourism is also very high in the country with citizens of almost all the countries in the world interested in one university or the other, a course or another.
Thanks to a high safety index, a truly powerful passport, high tolerance, inclusion and personal rights, many immigrants and tourists choose to make the UK home after visiting or after some time spent within the borders of the country.
4. The Netherlands
The Netherlands has been a forerunner in many areas – for many years running now.
For instance, as far back as 1976, Marijuana was made legal and was openly sold in approved stores! The ‘sad’ part was (and remains) that customers aren’t interested compared to the scenario that would of necessity present itself if the same or a similar substance were legalized in another country.
Interestingly too, the word ‘taboo’ is a ‘dispute word’ in the country with many residents and citizens strongly believing that the word doesn’t exist – or shouldn’t remain in the English vocabulary.
This has given room for the adoption of many ‘free-thinking’ practices that would be considered strange or unwelcomed in less open-minded countries or communities.
A good example is prostitution – a lawful act (in the country) premised on the fact that the consenting, non-criminal acts of adults, done in private shouldn’t be the business of the state.
Flowing closely with these is also freedom of religion, respect, equal rights, maximum gender and adoption rights.
There’s an informal saying that if you cannot find a ‘right’ in The Netherlands, that right simply does not exist anywhere in the world!
Japan is home to the largest motor company in the world: the Toyota Motor Corporation.
It is also the headquarters of some really awesome companies: Sony, Toshiba, Nissan and an array of other awesome companies that make the world’s greatest products.
However, besides the impressive advancement the country has made in terms of technological breakthroughs, the country remains one of the most non-judgemental and progressive countries today.
In addition, Japanese citizens are friendly, thoughtful, honest, and importantly, very constructive set of people.
Loyal to the core, the Japanese culture is one that is passionate about respect and regard for people irrespective of race, gender, background and social status. It is thus common to see the ultra-rich in super-expensive cars like the Toyota Crown, stopping to help poor little children who clearly aren’t in the same class with them.
Because of this immense respect, impressive culture and importantly, deep regard for the sanctity of human life, Japan has a steady flow of visitors to its borders; visitors who make return visits and a healthy number who decide to relocate permanently to the country despite the language barrier.
If you’re someone who is conversant with the Arts, you’ll hold Italy close to your heart: it has one of the most impressive architectures the world has ever seen.
Beyond the edifices, however, the country is also well known for paintings and sculpture.
For Catholics, the interest in the country goes a step forward: though known as (independent) Vatican City, the seat of the Pope is also right in Italy.
Clearly thus, there are many things to love about the country. However, the best remains its cheerful population and an impressive number of unbiased persons.
Blessed with diverse food, the Italians have mastered the art of cooking and have, over the centuries, taken it to impressive heights that often wow visitors, especially first-timers. This love for food and the perfection of the process opens hearts – with minimal effort!
The best part? Italy does not concern itself with the affairs of foreign nations the way most countries in Europe or America do.
Italians largely focus on domestic issues making the country, in the process, one of the very best to visit, work or live.
Canada, without question, tops this list. It is the singularly most sought-after country by immigrants either looking forward to a better life or interested in escaping the harsh realities of their home countries.
Accordingly thus, the central Canadian government and its ten provinces are always opening immigration streams and pathways: express entries and provincial nomination options for intending immigrants who are interested in changing passports and pursuing the Canadian dream.
All thanks to the fact that Canada has an impressive landmass (and is in fact, the second-largest country in the world) this process is incredibly easy – with no prospect of ending anytime soon.
The net implication of such a direct permanent residency (and eventual citizenship) policy is that the country is highly cosmopolitan.
A highly cosmopolitan country translates to a literal melting point of cultures, languages, religions, ways of life and importantly, worldviews.
Tolerance of each other and general open-mindedness has also ensured that Canada is one of the safest places to live, raise a family and ultimately retire – all thanks to the plethora of basics (like education and healthcare) that are offered free of direct cost to citizens and legal migrants.
Being accepting and prejudice-free has also ensured that the country remains, without question, the safest and most embracing nation anywhere on the planet.
Nothing beats a nation that is free of prejudice in its basic DNA; nothing beats citizens of a country that are open-minded and accepting of ideas and ways that are not innate or original to them.
However, as plausible as the concept and ideal of accepting others and ideas (different from what is hitherto known and appreciated) is, the temptation of condemning others believed not to be as open-minded as they should (or ought to be) must be resisted.
This is because this act alone is discriminatory and smirks of sardonic airs; this act alone amounts to not being considerate of others who may not view the world the way another part appreciates it.
It must also be understood that being accepting of others is a slow (but sure) process that does not come in a hurry and even for the top 10 most open-minded countries in the world today (and their citizens), was and remains a process that took precious time and is still very much evolving (daily)!