Pundits and politicians are often criticized for flip-flopping. Changing one's stance on a particular subject is seen as weak, or caving under pressure, or failing to assert ones true convictions. But these critics miss a crucial beat: we live in a changing world. If our beliefs and thoughts hardened, how would we ever adjust to new discoveries, new perspectives, new technology and music and art?
The JFK Library in Boston, USA, awards a Profile in Courage prize each year to someone who takes a stand, even if it's unpopular among their constituents. A couple of years ago, for example, Bob Inglis, a former Republican US Congressman, was recognized for changing his position and deciding to fight climate change. After his subsequent election defeat, Inglis founded an organization that educates conservatives about the importance of this issue.
This week, dear writers, we're taking a page from the JFK Library's book and celebrating flexibility in thought. Having the courage to change
your convictions may not win us votes, but allowing our beliefs to evolve with the changing world is vital to addressing issues on both local and global stages.
In a 1-3 paragraph reflection, tell us about your own evolution of thought. What belief did you once hold that has changed over time? What caused this shift? And what have you learned about yourself, your family, community, and/or country in the process?
To help get you started, check out this piece by our very own Ruth Dempsey