“Changing mind as a virtue” is something I don’t remember ever hearing. People have spoken about it as their own prerogative. I’ve mostly come across a changing of one’s mind talked about as a weakness. A lack of backbone and captivity to whim. Changing your mind as a virtue is terribly undermined. Not doing so can be the fruit of pride and not a reflection of strength and wisdom.
Some pride themselves on never being swayed. On being consistent. When it comes to principles there can be space for that. However, we must even revisit what we consider sacred from time to time. Even when we don’t change our minds or beliefs we must ask ourselves, “Why?”.
Believing something because, “We always have”, isn’t good enough. Our beliefs are at the core of who we are and become. They inform what we advocated and build in society, and, shape nations. Movements, yes even those that shape nations and shake the world, start with the convictions of individuals. What we believe, as individuals, though personal, is also about the world we shape.
Many in history have believed, and acted, on things that astound us today. If we succumb to pride, there is a good chance posterity will be unkind in judging us. It takes humility, another virtue, to changes one’s mind. Some instances where changing your mind as a virtue can be celebrated.
We believe and do things because we believe they are right. Whether they are right for us as individuals or right for everyone is another debate. We believe what we believe to be right based on the information or data we have at hand. Sometimes we embrace actions and worldviews because they feel right.
Changing your mind as a virtue can be when we realise that we were wrong. It is foolish to hold onto an opinion when you realise it is false. The inability to acknowledge being wrong is akin to building your own gallows. It will hurt you at some point. And, as I’ve intimated, effects transcend your person.
Practice acknowledging being wrong and changing your mind when necessary.
A Commitment To Better
As I advocate for changing your mind as a virtue when required, I also advocated for one things never to change. Always commit to learning and growing, and change your mind when required to do so as a result.
We must choose better every time. Of course, debates will always follow: “What is better?” A lack of the obvious should never stop us wrestling with what better is. It will be obvious, sometimes. Our commitment must always be getting better.
Whether to change or strengthen, even our principles need re-examining from time to time. Changing our mind as a virtue is not about the whimsical or being flippant. It is a commitment to learning and growing, and change as needed. Humility is the foundation for growth and we must embrace it as a normal way of leading and living.
image: Yousef Al Nasser