I have plenty of other things to write about (our recent trip to Kentucky, the Democratic convention—wow, did our First Lady knock it out of the park, or what?!—the bizarre compulsion Republicans have to crawl inside the wombs of American women, among other things), but what is at the forefront of my mind today is change.
Not political change. Not Ken’s job change, although that is part of what prompted my pondering on this. Personal change. How we grow and develop as human beings.
‘Change’ is sometimes tossed around as a bad thing. As in, “Oh, how you’ve changed.” The implication is that you’ve changed for the worse. That certainly can be true for certain people, but I tend to see personal change as a necessary thing. If we’re the exact same people we were when we graduated from high school, for example, that doesn’t speak well for our sense of self-awareness, our empathy for others, or our ability to learn from our mistakes. Stagnation isn’t good for anyone.
It has been said that I have influenced Ken for my own nefarious purposes (although the source is dubious, at best), changing his values and belief systems. How silly. I don’t have that much power over anyone, and wouldn’t wield it in that way if I did. Ken is his own person, as am I. Of course, we discuss things; we pay attention to the world around us, we see what is working and what isn’t, and we talk about our thoughts on such matters. Not just with each other...we have friends and family that we also toss around ideas with. That is actually one of the more enjoyable things in life for me: having good discussions with others so that I can work out my own ideas on something.
This is how we grow, both intellectually and as human beings. My positions on many things have evolved throughout the years. I started out an idealistic liberal; I became fairly fiscally conservative for a while (although I’ve always been pretty liberal on social issues); I made another big swing back to the left, and I’m guessing that’s not going to change. I started out being for civil unions rather than full marriage equality. Like President Obama, my views on that have evolved, and I now fully support equality for all of our citizens.
I didn’t just decide to switch my opinions because I was, oh, let’s say running for political office. (Not to mention any names. *cough* Mittens *cough*) I took the time to read about things, took the time to fully think them through. I am not a religious conservative, although I was born into a religious conservative family. I made my own way and made my own decisions. I did not make them lightly, either.
So I find it ludicrous that anyone would disparage a person’s changing stance on such serious issues as religion and politics. (Attributing Ken’s changing stance on things to me is even more ludicrous.) Or even non-serious issues like types of music, or taste in movies. Aren’t we kind of supposed to ponder things, experience new things, branch out from our tiny little corner of the world? Isn’t that what makes life the exciting adventure it is? Oh, I suppose I could sit here and not challenge my previously held notions, take the easy and safe path of conformity, but what fun would that be? To take that path seems rather lazy to me.
One of my mottos in college was “Question Authority.” It was cool and rebellious for the time, and I can’t say that I’ve retained any sort of major disrespect for authority. However, I continue to question, and I hope I always will. Life wouldn’t be as interesting without pushing the envelope on occasion!