I’m giving a series of talks this week on intellectual humility, so I have been reflecting quite a bit about what it means to be open to other perspectives, including the extent to which we should be open to changing our mind.
I read an interesting post on social media the other day. The post was about Hillary Clinton, and how her views on gay marriage have shifted over the years.
Before you continue reading, pause and think for a minute about any reactions that come up for you. Irrespective of what you believe about gay marriage, what do you think about the fact that she changed her mind on such an important issue? Is changing your mind a good thing or a bad thing? Or does it depend on the situation? If it depends on the situation, what factors come into play?
The post juxtaposed the fact that Hillary Clinton recently affirmed the Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage with a previous statement in which she said the opposite: marriage should only be between a man and a woman. The author of the post labeled Hillary Clinton a flip-flopper, and questioned whether we could trust her.
Putting the political context aside (which might be difficult), here is my question: Why is it a problem if someone changes his or her mind? I hope to be a person who is continually learning, growing, and changing throughout my life. If I’m doing that, I will probably change or adjust my views on certain issues over time, as new information becomes available. So in general, I don’t see it as a problem when a person changes his or her mind.
Discussion: What do you think about changing one’s mind? Have you ever changed your mind on a particular issue you felt strongly about, because of new learning or information? What was that process like for you?