…ange isn’t just our impoverished defintion of it: mental flexibility, as if humans were little AIs. It’s first genuine emotional candour, depth, and freedom. That supports, guides, motivates, and nurtures “changing one’s mind”, and only then comes true growth, the capacity to hold more sophisticated notions of truth and beauty, in which you and I can both coexist, the more unknown to one another, so much the more meaningful and resonant and optimistic. And because we cannot contain all that yet, our worlds are stuck. Feeling precisely the same way, y…
Such a great piece, Umair. Thanks for sharing.
I think you really hit on it here. It’s not only that we’ve lost the ability to change one another’s minds, it’s that our own minds are less flexible. We are less capable of being changed.
I suspect that most people would struggle to name the last time that they purposefully changed their mind about something. Because they had a conversation, read a book or just thought long and hard about something, did they decide to shift what they believe to be true?
For many of us, the answer is that it probably doesn’t happen very often. We engage with one another less and less on a human level and more and more through mediated technology. If we’re curious, we satisfy the need with a quick dip into Wikipedia instead of a full-length book or finding a human expert.
If we can’t each privately endeavor to be both curious and flexible, I think the partisan and cultural walls between us will only grow.