17: To feign a made up mind. #LifeWideLearning16

I left my wife home with my one and a half year old when she was incredibly sick. She was in pain and I left her because I had something that I “couldn’t miss” at work. I wanted to find someone to take care of him, but we didn’t have anyone to turn to on such short notice. And I knew it wasn’t going to end well. I knew that I would be breaking her trust. I knew that there would be consequences within our relationship because of it. But, my mind was made up, and there wasn’t anything left to do but walk out the door.

That is the problem with making up your mind. It doesn’t leave a lot of room for other people. It doesn’t leave a lot of room for feedback or reflection. It is absolute and unwavering.

I try not to make up my mind all that much because of this.

It isn’t that I don’t have opinions, and it certainly isn’t that I don’t speak my mind. I am nothing if not pedantic and steadfast. However, I am absolutely never so confident in my ideas as to not listen to what others have to say. I listen because I want my ideas to be better. I want to collaborate with others, even those who oppose me.

So, my mind is only ever made up for a few short hours. Until I consider a new perspective and get a bigger picture of what lies ahead. Or, until I act and have more information to influence my next made up mind.

I think that is why I don’t really understand stubbornness, at least not fully. When can you be so sure of yourself that you can’t see nuance? When do you know the situation so fully that only one option can be considered the right one?

I don’t know a lot of things. In fact, given the vast array of information that Siri or Google knows, I know almost nothing. And that comforts me. It means that I don’t have to feign a made up mind. It means that I don’t have to be resolute all of the time. It means that I get to listen to others and see what makes sense, constantly weighing ideas and changing based upon new evidence.

I am not a made up mind. I am a cupped ear.

One Comment

  1. Zac

    I see it, and I get it. In a bunch of versions of me responding to this question, I think I end up writing a similar post.
    As I was reading, I found myself thinking, “Yeah, and we still need to make up our minds sometimes.” Racism, sexism, homophobia – all things I’m pretty sure you and I have made up our minds about.
    That’s the key, right? What’s the most base level decision I can make. From there, I get to think about the gray areas. That’s where the perplexing joy of humanity comes in. “Well, I am against sexism, and I support my friends. Margaret is my friend and she just made a sexist remark, now I get to navigate this space and understand fully the depth of my commitment.”

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