Proving You Are Right

The economist John Kenneth Galbraith on the challenge of being open-minded: “Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.”

That’s not a generational thing. Don’t think Boomer or Gen X or Millennial. It’s a human thing. We hate to be wrong. Jungian psychologists who love the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator would say that there is perhaps one personality type out of 16 that is open to changing their mind.

And now the Instagram / TikTok / YouTube striving for notoriety age is upon us. When one has established a persona outlandish enough to attract a following of hopefully millions, changing becomes impossible. You could lose millions of followers. That’s millions of little endorphin strokes a day. That’s potentially loss of power and/or money.

Some people say they wish to change others when in reality they just want to build little clones. Find something to cling to that agrees with your group so that proof is handed to you and the uncertainty of openness is avoided.

Others find the tradition of the flowing spirit. Opening themselves to God daily, they seek where they have gone the wrong way and seek that change back into the spirit. Oh, Lord, I have done it again. Made a wrong assumption. Thought I knew better. Listened to the wrong advisor. Help me change direction and get back on the way.

The sin doesn’t lie in changing your mind; it lies often in not changing your mind.

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