The Winds of Change

Think back to an opinion you once held that you now strongly disagree with.

Can you? I suspect that a non-zero number of people might have trouble with this. Some people go their entire lives without a substantial change of mind. Others do experience such a change, but later convince themselves that they have not; they fool themselves into thinking they’ve always been as wise as they now imagine themselves to be. If this is your first hurdle, you won’t reach another. If you can’t think of an opinion you no longer hold, you should find some of your current ones to shed – I guarantee you that some have gone sour while you weren’t paying attention.

If you can recall such an opinion, don’t worry about why you once held it – consider instead why you no longer do. Was it gradual? Did it simply come of aging and experiencing? Or was there a short sharp shock that knocked it loose and made you realize you needed to change? Or perhaps – even more rare – did someone convince you that your opinion was worth adjusting?

Let that particular experience wash over you in your memory. How it felt to change. We don’t like it, generally. The reason people erase the memory of the change of opinion is that changing means admitting a past error, and some people don’t even like to do that. But that’s exactly why we should get used to the idea. So that we’re more comfortable with it, and able to drive that experience around with proficiency when it’s needed. If there are indeed winds of change, don’t run indoors to avoid them. Get a kite. Heck, get a hang glider! Steering to a better place is better than being blown down.

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