What have you changed your mind about over the years?
Swiss cheese. That’s the first thing that came to mind. When I was a kid, Swiss cheese smelled so bad I wouldn’t get close to it much less add it to my sandwich. I avoided Swiss cheese until my thirties and only then due to an experience in Paris, France. My co-worker Jeff and I were sitting out at a restaurant on the Champs-Élysées and he ordered us a plate of cheeses to go with our glasses of wine. The cheese was fabulous and far “stinkier” than the Swiss of my youth. I realized that my taste buds had changed, or perhaps weakened, over time, along with the rest of me, and I needed to revisit tastes, smells, sounds, etc. to see what else my older self now appreciated. Getting older is the first key component of mind changing.
People. Like most people I grew up in a sheltered environment, meaning people that were raised in similar economic, religious, and moral backgrounds. Not having a greater perspective, I naturally thought most people were more or less like me. While I think I had a great childhood, it didn’t prepare me for the greater world. I have since learned, generally the hard way, that this absolutely not true. There are some really bad and stupid people in this world. There are reckless drivers weaving their way at one hundred miles per hour through four lanes of traffic. There are people that seemingly have no control of their emotions or their actions. At a recent petit jury selection, where about forty people were present, randomly selected from throughout our county, maybe one or two others dressed in anything that I thought was appropriate. Most looked like they were pulled for a lineup. I no longer just think someone will be anything like me. I make no assumptions. Getting experiences outside your little world changes your mind about things. Lots of things.
Left-handed. I grew up right-handed where the logical, left side of your brain is dominant. But along the course of life, I began to perform some tasks left-handed. It started quite logically. If I could eat with a fork in my left hand, I could simultaneously use a knife with my right hand and avoid all that wasted switching time. This reduced the time it took to eat and get excused from the table to resume playing or watching a TV show. It takes a bit of practice to get that other hand to cooperate, but it’s really not that bad. I became a switch-hitter in baseball and could shoot baskets with either hand. I would throw a baseball to my daughter right-handed, but left-handed to my son. Sometime in mid-life, I decided to use my computer mouse with my left hand, really improving its fine motor skills. For the most part, I tend to use whichever hand is closest or has a better angle. I believe this constant drive to be ambidextrous fundamentally changed my mind, bringing out the right brain’s more creative side and achieving a better balance. Perhaps this, more than the others, has literally “changed my mind”.