The Beauty of a Changed Mind (Personal)

If every person had to do what was right, the odds are that each person would do things differently from the other. And that is understandable. Morality is a puzzle with many scattered components that humans must fit together into a neat pattern while blindfolded. Even worse, the components are changing over time. Faster than we can put them together.

We all start with the instructions acquired from our immediate environment but it is never enough. It does not have all the components and its manual is incomplete. But as moral people we cannot be silent in the face of evil. And so we wave our unfinished manuals and flaunt our imperfect components knowing that we dare not show uncertainty or it would be seen as weakness.

But how can humanity solve the puzzle? By collaborating. By listening to each other. By the willingness to accept that there are better ways of doing things. By accommodating. By changing minds and actions. By being able to accept that we are wrong.

In my life there are things I have said and done with the belief that there were right. It would have been different in the old days but now the internet is like a giant board on which we write with permanent markers. There is no way to disown words that were mine. And yet I cannot have this anchor of words weighing me down, keeping my image rooted to a spot from which my views have long since moved.

I am grateful that in the most part it is my current words that I am judged by. There will always be people who use your past words against you. I am ready to accept it and explain how I have changed. But I will not be bogged down by those not interested in an explanation but only looking to ridicule my transformation.

I am also grateful for friends who, like me, have changed their minds on significant issues. We each present our components and manuals fashioned by our environments, inquiries and experiences and do our part in trying to solve the puzzle. This is more often than not a tumultuous process. There is disagreement, anger, hurt and pride but we persist. For there is no other way to solve the puzzle. It is a path of pitfalls that we walk on in changing our mind and we encourage each other. Because the outcome is always beautiful.


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