It is with great satisfaction that I look back at myself five years ago and think about how much wiser and better I am. This feeling of satisfaction is tempered by the fact that five years from now I will say the same thing.Andy Rooney (probably paraphrased)
This quote has stuck with me over the years. I want to keep growing as a person. One of the consequences of this quote is that I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I will look back at today and feel good about growing, getting wiser, getting better. Of course, the last line of the quote reminds me that this will happen continually so don’t get too full of myself.
I think a major part of this is the ability to change my mind about things.
If we are doing life right, we are learning new things, gaining more information, growing as a person. I think this is obvious if you think back to our teenage years. Remember them? We thought we knew everything. But compared to now, did we really? I don’t think so.
We also don’t have the same opinions as then. I had ideas about what was important and how the world worked, that in hindsight, I’m glad I changed. From conversations that I have had with others, I’m not the only one.
The only way I got from then to now was to change my mind. Because I certainly don’t have the same opinions as I had then.
Changing our mind allows us to build on what we learn.
Changing our mind shows that we are still interested in learning.
Changing our mind shows that we are still maturing.
Changing our mind shows that we can learn from others.
Changing our mind shows that we are still building our philosophical foundations.
Changing our mind shows that we can challenge ourselves when circumstances change.
Change our mind shows that we aren’t dead.
Changing our mind has become a bad thing in our world today. If we refuse to change our mind, we run the risk of not learning, not growing. This is wrong and dangerous. For those of you chirping in the back, I’m not talking about fad-hopping where we jump on the bandwagon of every new thing that comes along. I’m talking about learning something from every person you meet, continually reading and understanding that I don’t have all the information and that there is a decent change that I am wrong about things.
I’ll end with a short TEDx video about the scout mindset (~11 minutes). The interesting part starts around 9min, but the story beforehand is helpful.