Change Your Mind

Matthew Oldridge
Aug 29, 2018 · 2 min read

Changing your mind is often seen as weak. In our political culture, it signifies weakness, “flip flopping”, lack of spine. In the world, we all have “a certain sense of certainty”, as Canadian poet and songwriter John K. Samson sang.

Here is a new proposition:

Changing your mind is strength.

Changing your mind means you have considered your position on something, and, over time, arrived at a new position. If critical thinking is “making sound judgements, based on all available evidence”, then we must allow in new evidence.

Mind-changers are probably critical thinkers. There are many out there who make proclamations as if they were standing on a mountain, proclaiming eternal and religious truth. There are those who trumpet their views on social media, and to those around them, as if they are gospel truth.

It is easy to become entrenched in habits of mind, of thought. Consciousness and habit are intertwined. My positions on many things, be they politics, or religion, or any other thing, can become solidified, like cement.

You don’t want your opinions and viewpoints to cement over time. You want them to remain liquid. You want to think of them as flowing through the stream of consciousness. Old rock becomes fossilized. Your consciousness can stay lava.

On any issue, keep in the back of your mind:

I might be wrong.

You might well be. You might have an opinion based on faulty evidence, or not enough evidence. Something might enter into your worldview that causes you to have doubts. You could find that, gradually, your mind is changed.

Admit it to others around you. It shows strength, intellectual modesty, and a humbleness in the face of the vastness of all the knowledge and opinions around us.

Changing your mind is strength.

“Thought”. CC image by Henadz Freshphoto.ru.

Matthew Oldridge

Written by

Writing about creativity, books, productivity, education, particularly mathematics, music, and whatever else “catches my mind”. ~Thinking about things~

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade