July 22, 2008

On changing your mind

When I was a kid I was afraid. I wondered whether I would ever have an opinion of my own. Everything seemed like it had been thought before. Sometimes I was proud of some product of my mind but then I realized that it did not really impress anyone.
I thought that maybe I was not very good at thinking critically because in most discussions I was jumping on bandwagons. In Germany we have another metaphor for that, "being a little flag in the wind", changing direction with it. That was what it felt like when I listened and then agreed, then kept on listening and agreed with the opposite opinion.
My problem was that I often could not decide which side I was on. I was afraid I could not define my own position which I thought every adult had to have. It seemed so important to know where you stood. A necessary prerequisite to stand up for yourself.

Today I have my own opinion. It developed without me really noticing it. It came from going with the current and letting all different views wash through my mind. I have learned to defend what I stand for. It also came from being educated and being shown the world through the tolerant and wise eyes of my parents. Most of all I probably learned through my own positive experiences with diversity. I think that most people today would describe me as rather principled.

The most important principle and one of the few I would accept for myself is openness. Being aware of the fact that you do not know yet what you will believe in the future, be it still far or very close, to me is a sure sign of wisdom. I try hard not to nurture preconceived ideas, although they are hard to let go. Through forming my own views I have found the true value of being a little flag in the wind.

4 comments:

Parinaz said...

So true! In today's world where there are a lot of preconceived ideas, one needs to be a fair judge according to one's own opinions and experiences. Otherwise one will be the very symbol of a little flag in the wind!
That is a very nice metaphor! In Persian, we describe such a person as a very thin tree which bends with every soft motion of the wind and it changes directions easily! Somewhat similar to your metaphor though…
Take care dear Robert and enjoy the week ahead of you.

Leila said...

Beautifully written, my friend. It's so very refreshing to hear someone who studies this modern world strive to maintain an open mind. Keep your flags in the wind (though keep them tightly tied to the pole!)

In English we also say that one is easily swayed. Another wind metaphor! Beautiful that this extends over such different cultures!

Mommy Homeopath: said...

Hello Robert,
I came to your doorsteps through Parinaz's blog and enjoyed your wise comments there…
It is now few times that I visited you and read your posts and left with no foot print. But for this one I could not resist...

For sure your blog shows that you are a person with opinions of your own. So you did a good job getting that milestone in life.

As for the openness...I am applauding you. It is truly a rare commodity in this day and age to know a person (even through cyberspace) that believes in "openness", to be aware of the reality that no one knows what they will believe in the future...a future of another day or another decade...This awareness comes from a maturity of your soul and heart. I applaud you very much for it.

As a homeopath, we believe the root of all pathologies can be somehow found in "fixidity", the fixidity of Soma and Psyche…
When one is so fixed there is no more life flow, no more vital energy...So I wish for you to be "healthy" always...

Robert said...

Thank you for your nice comments! I am happy to hear you are open, too :) I will try to keep fixidity away and stay healthy, as I wish for you to be!