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Dare to change your mind

Being open-minded means that you are able to listen to opposing opinions.

Being open-minded is not being fickle or shilly-shally but rather the opposite. The stronger and the more convinced your opinion is, the more are you able to listen to opinions that differ from yours.

Being open-minded includes readiness to change your mind (to repent) when you realize that you were wrong.

Changing your mind about which pullover to wear at an event can be difficult when your wife has a different opinion than you, but we probably agree that it is not an existential change.

The bible tells a story about how a fervent enemy of Jesus became his follower after having experienced God’s call. This was a more existential change of mind. This guy was struck with blindness and did neither eat nor drink during 3 days.

Another story in the Bible tells how Joseph (husband of Mary) had to fundamentally change his mind about marrying pregnant women.

Changing your mind is problematic and frowned upon in classical teamwork. When some common decision has been made, to which you agreed, then it is considered bad practice to change your mind. For example let us imagine that you are in the shop with your 3 years old daughter and ask her: ice cream or chocolate bar? She answers “chocolate bar”, you put the chocolate bar into your shopping cart and continue shopping. Two minutes later (you are still in the shop but in the next department) she changes her mind and decides that she prefers ice cream. You will probably shout (or think) something like “OMG! Can’t she make up her mind in due time?”

Our mind is like a radar monitor. We constantly send out “listener signals” and then record the echo we receive1. Our mind is always “directed”, turned into a given direction. We see only the things we are looking at2. We need to unlock our radar antenna and have it constantly turn in order to listen to every direction.

Footnotes

1

Reality is of course more complex because we also record incoming signals that are caused by something else than our listener signal. For example when the sun shines, the optical signals we receive are not an echo to our listener signal.

2

Sometimes we perceive a movement outside of the focussed area, and our eyes then “automatically” redirect, turn into the new direction.