Why I changed my mind about changing your mind

For most of my life, I have been Stubborn. I was like Little My in Moomin.
Red hair (though mine was dyed), loud voice, will of stone. Entire being
composed of immovable, hard, heavy stone. I would not change my
thoughts or ways for anyone. Most things were very white or very black.
Occasionally things were grey – Very grey, completely and decidedly grey.
And I was right (as in left, very left).

There was no god. My way was the way. People who didn’t think like me were
annoying. Even if I loved a lot of the people who most often disagreed with me –
They were very annoying. And I was very right.
You get the picture… I was a lot of other things too, but above all else I was
Stubborn. And Stubborn was me.

If it hadn’t happened in bits, I would probably have been a lot more
surprised when I realised this:
I’m not so stubborn anymore. And I’m definitely not black and white. In fact,
everything’s very uncertain. It depends… Always, it depends. It’s like the
entire world is a giant lump of unique situations with unique reasons to make
unique decisions. There’s no all-encompassing answer.
The maxims can’t be chosen “as though they should hold as universal laws of
nature”. The only laws that hold as universal laws of nature are the laws of
nature. And how universal are they?

Somewhere in the middle of this, except for sounding like a hippie,
I manage to annoy Stubborn and rational people – of the kind that I used to be –
even more than my friends ever annoyed me back in the days.
Because I’m not only saying they’re wrong – I’m saying they can’t know.
The world is a mystery and they can’t know, so they’ll have to believe.
I almost sound religious. And nowadays, atheists annoy me more than
religious people. They’re just so sure they’re right, and apparently, this means
they have to look down on people who see things differently. Or even worse,
people who base their beliefs on just that – Belief. Completely unacceptable!
Very… black. Decidedly black.

This should confuse and scare me. I’ve always been afraid I’d change my mind in
the future. Become someone else. Also, what safety net do you have when you’re
not even sure what’s right? How can you live in a world full of people when you
don’t know who’s right? But I feel safer than ever. I know good people when I
meet them – They’re the ones who make me feel warm. I don’t have to
analyse their actions, because I feel them. And even if I become less and
less sure of how I should live my life, I think I’m getting better and better at it.
It’s not how certain you are that shows how right you are. I might be getting
closer and closer to the truth about everything, and it’s somewhere in
the crazy psychedelic colour blur of two-sides land.

Or inside myself. Yes, really. Why should I need to find the right statistics or
the right person to quote to decide who I want to be? If it sounds right does
that make it right? What about what feels right? I believe it’s only reasonable to
have a little faith in the abilities of my emotional system and instincts.
I believe that. I might be wrong. I’m most certainly wrong about a lot of things,
even when it feels right. But at least I’ve changed my mind.
I’m not stuck. If there are right ways to do things, and wrong ways, floating
around among the millions of possible routes to take, being open to change is
probably not such a bad idea. How else am I ever going to notice the signs?

So I’m not Stubborn anymore. Though I am still stubborn, in that I don’t change
my mind simply because someone tells me to. Or give up important things.
Or give up on people. And I don’t know for sure my moral principles are
the right ones, by I do live by them (most of the time). Refusing to budge with
the occasional risk of seeming silly.  But I have changed. I have become
someone who’s not the definition of stubborn, but just… me.
I don’t think I’ve transformed into another being, I don’t fear for my soul.
But I do feel like a better person, which makes me feel bad. Which makes
me feel good.

Which reminds me that there’s nothing wrong with feeling good about yourself.
As long as you’re not so pleased you decide you’re finished, in which case you
might never change and will probably be asleep behind the wheel the moment
that possible, possibly big sign that says “Turn RIGHT here” shows up.
Don’t do that. I really, really believe that would be a mistake.

You shouldn’t sleep and drive. Metaphorically, or in real life. Really.

I do need sleep though. Right now. So good night! May you dream
colourfully and filled with with uncertainty.



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2 responses to “Why I changed my mind about changing your mind

  1. This is an amazing see saw of thoughts. I love it. I love that you’re challenging. Keep living quiet and with killer gravity.


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