Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Right to ReAssess

'It's a woman's prerogative to change her mind'

I've often heard it said by both men and women - men in long-suffering exasperation and women as a minimizing excuse to brush away the shame of being 'inconstant'.

Politicians are also shamed for having a change of position by being called 'flip-floppers'.

Frankly, I find this a vastly curious occurrence in today's culture which celebrates the 'no-fault divorce'. Commitments, especially within families, seem to have less and less value in society. And yet the idea that people can make an initial assessment and then must be bound to it for the convenience of the then established preconceptions of others is rampant! Women are given a partial 'bye' in deference to their hormonal 'irrationality' (condescending much?) but I suspect that is only because the men who quote it realize they can't change women so easily as they did historically.

It is amusing that it looks to be a level of laziness that condemns the changing of the mind when the changing of the mind requires engagement with the material being considered. Laziness resents activity? You know, that sounds accurate.

I'm sure some of you are pointing out the flaw in this that politicians change their positions according to the whims of public winds. Yes, many do. But I ask you, how many shifts are discounted as political pandering that are actually fair reassessment? Have you never made an initial evaluation of something and then realized over time that there was more to the issue than you'd first understood? Often times we think things translate directly from one medium to another (state government compared to federal, book to screen, family life to family life) but then learn it's a whole different nature you'd never comprehended. If learning and seeing something from a new angle means a different interpretation, why do we tell ourselves and others that makes us disingenuous? False? Hypocritical? If anything, it seems to me that continuing to hold to a now invalid assessment would be so while admitting to our learning process would best show our true character - willing to admit we don't know everything and are willing to learn.

It occurs that perhaps part of the problem is that so many seem anxious to have everyone labeled according to their positions on this matter or that. I think it must simplify their world view. That means that people are encouraged to jump to conclusions well before they might otherwise be ready to. I also think society has been training us to make instant assessments for these same reasons. This seems flawed to me and I'd guess it to be a causal nature to the high rate of changed positions, dissolved marriages, and ridiculous maelstrom we call politics.

The solution is two-fold and quite simple. We must simply recognize that it's ok to not form an opinion until we actually know what we think about something regardless of outside pressure. And it is also valid to realize our perspective has changed with experience and new information and change said opinion accordingly.

Proverbs 4:7
Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore get wisdom: 
and with all thy getting get understanding.

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