Lori Falce: Picking sides and changing minds
We live in a time where you can change absolutely anything about yourself.
If you would like to make your brown hair blond or your blond hair black or your black hair neon pink, you can do it.
If you want to be thinner, you can have fat sucked out. If you wish your breasts were bigger, you can have implants put in. If you feel your very Germanic nose doesn’t truly express the Barbie doll you are inside, you can have it shaped the way you want it.
You can have surgery that will give you the appearance that matches the gender you feel you are inside. And if you maybe feel that you are a cat or a lizard, there are experts in body modification who can help you liberate that inner you, whatever it happens to be.
But, for some reason, we have trouble accepting that people might change their minds.
In 2004, a favorite weapon against John Kerry during his presidential run was the word “flip-flop.” It was a reference to Kerry’s changing opinions on things like the war in Iraq.
Why, though, is changing your mind as a situation changes a bad thing?
A war zone, like Iraq then and Syria now, is never static. It is all action and reaction and being able to counter a new situation with a new move.
On a drive, you pay attention to what happens around you and correct your course for things like the car in front of you jamming on the brakes or a deer running into the road. One of the most important aspects of developing self-driving vehicles is making sure they can account for these detours rather than stick to the planned route.
We seem to accept this everywhere but with politics and government.
We demand people pick a side and stick with it, come hell, high water or criminal indictment, and it doesn’t make sense. It’s one way politics could learn a lesson from football. People want their coaches to notice when something isn’t working and adjust accordingly. Don’t do that and the fans will howl loudly to give the whistle to someone else.
Changing your mind based on a new situation isn’t an admission of defeat, but that just might be the root of this evil.
If we admit we were wrong, that means saying someone else is right, and apparently we live in a time where we can no longer let that happen.
I wonder if we can change that about ourselves?
Lori Falce is a Tribune-Review community engagement editor. You can contact Lori at [email protected].