Mason County News
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In My Opinion
Spinning On Your Heels!
Editor
Wednesday, April 3, 2013 • Posted April 3, 2013

Doing a 180. Flip flopping. Doing an about face. Changing directions.

No matter the words you use, the concept is the same. When we decide to do the opposite of what we have been doing all along, it's a reversal in our direction.

When people make such total changes in their thinking or their actions, it's never done lightly. The changes are usually based upon new information that has been received, new experiences that have happened, or some other equally major shift in a person's life.

As difficult as it can be for all of us to make such changes in our lives, it can be just as difficult to accept such changes in those in our lives. We've become accustomed to how the people we know behave and believe... when they change drastically, we begin to worry that they've had a bump to the head, acquired some terrible disease, or been taken over by pod people!

Politicians are loathe to change their direction. It's not because they don't actually change their minds; but, rather, because the public doesn't usually react well when the person they've elected suddenly seems to be heading in a different direction than when we voted for them. And, then their opponents jump all over them and start accusing them of doing flip flops! And, for some reason, we think that's a bad thing.

But, we should be appreciative when those people that we've entrusted with crafting the laws we'll all have to live under admit that they've continued to study and to learn. The person we voted for 10, 20 or 30 years ago can, and should, be paying attention to changing facts and events and use that education to inform the decisions they are making today. In fact, if they continue to behave today exactly as they did many years ago, one might begin to worry that they are "out of touch," "uninformed" or just "ignoring the truth."

Elected officials take the greatest heat for these changes in their thinking; but, the people around us can also struggle when they reverse direction. The friend that has always enjoyed socializing and partying suddenly decides they would rather spend their evenings at home, and we wonder if they're depressed. The person who has always voted straight ticket for one party suddenly endorses a candidate from the opposition and we fear they may have gone off their medication.

At least with the elected folk, there is a bit of distance between their changes and our daily lives. When our friends and family start showing those same types of attitude or behavior changes, we have to deal with them on a daily basis and they can be unsettling.

All of this was stirred up by listening to people talking about how people fall into two camps: they never stick with something; or, they're completely intractable and unwilling to listen to new evidence. I would suggest that there is really only one camp; but, we all have the potential to move about within that space.

We all have the values, morals and beliefs that have been instilled in us over the years that make up our standards and our guides that we use to navigate life. Then, we have the lessons we have learned through our lives, from friends and family and acquaintances, that help our outlook to be different than what we might have imagined. And, if we are fortunate, we have questioning souls that continually seek out and listen to the things that are going on about us, and we actually learn something new.

Over time, we may only make a ninety degree turn, or it may be a full 180 degrees. Given enough time, we sometimes even go full circle and come back to where we began. But, we make the journey, consider the evidence, and we arrive at a destination. It's a destination that is never final until we've drawn our final breath, and it's proof that we are ever evolving and ever changing human beings.

It’s all just my opinion.

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