December 29     

Today's quotation:

Having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise.

Benjamin Franklin

Today's Meditation:

It can be very frustrating to be around people who stubbornly hold on to opinions that have been proved to be wrong over time.  We see this a lot in politics, in education, in sports, and in relationships-- people just like to hold on to the opinions that they've had for a long time, even when those opinions are based on inaccurate or incomplete information.

I hope that as life goes on I don't treat people in ways that they don't deserve to be treated, just because I'm holding on to an inaccurate opinion out of stubbornness.  I hope that I'm able to stay open-minded enough to realize that much of what I think and believe is based on ideas that I've heard from other people, who may or may not have taken the time to get a completely accurate picture of a given situation.  As long as I don't know something with complete accuracy, then I can't know the whole story behind something-- and therefore any opinion that I have about it should be changeable.

There's a story about a man who found that a tool of his was gone.  He suspected a neighbor boy, and the next time he saw the boy, he walked like a thief, talked like a thief, and acted like a thief.  The next day, though, the man found the tool someplace where he had left it himself.  The next time he saw the neighbor boy, the child walked, talked, and acted just like a boy.

Life is about change, and it's important that we be open to changing our minds if we're to be completely fair to other people as much as we possibly can.  When we hold on to outdated opinions and ideas, we can cause harm to others by pushing for changes to situations that shouldn't be changed, or by opposing something that probably shouldn't be opposed.  And since one of our most important goals on the planet is not to harm others, it would be good to give ourselves habits that keep us from doing just that.

Questions to consider:

How easy is it for you to change your mind?

Do you regularly take the time to reconsider some of your most important and deeply held beliefs?

How can we affect others when we hold on to beliefs and opinions that are based on outdated or inaccurate information?

For further thought:

If in the last few years you haven't discarded a major opinion or acquired a new one, check your pulse.  You may be dead.

Gelett Burgess

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