To live is to change,
and to perfect life is to have changed often.-John Henry Newman


Old beliefs do not lead you to new cheese.
—Spencer Johnson, Who Moved My Cheese


Letting Go Of the Past

I've been looking through the e-mail.

Although it's mostly complimentary — thanks! — there are letters taking me to task...

...for upsetting traditional views and values.

As I read some of these an image comes to mind of people trying to move into the future...

...with their eyes focused on their rear-view mirrors.

In the past few decades personal and social needs have changed in some major ways.

And to adjust to these changes...

...we have to change our thinking...

...change the ways we go about things.

But a lot of people don't want to change.

They prefer to cling to "yesterday"...

...when things seemed simple...

...and right and wrong seemed clear.

The problem is as I nudge 80, I know the difference.

I lived through those "good ol' days"...

...reported on them in the newspaper business on a daily basis.

>>Like many people in my generation, I've had to adjust to a lot of changes...

...learn how to use a computer...

...even how to set the clock on my VCR.

For many people, changing their views on some fundamental attitudes means admitting they have been wrong!

Not easy when...

...they have "stood the high ground"

...made major sacrifices...

...bucked the trends...

...regularly gone on record with their beliefs.

It's much easier just to stick to your old ways of thinking...

...not admit that maybe you were wrong.

This "high ground" defense especially applies to religious institutions....

...some of the same ones that refused for a century or two after the facts were clear that the world was not flat or at the center of the universe.

And now we have such things as the use of condoms in the prevention of life-threatening diseases...

...and as a form of birth control for families that can't handle more children...

A pretty simple issue...

...except that for some people accepting these new social realities...

...would require them to change some fundamental views...

...views that they have long held and defended.

It's much easier just to cling to past thinking...

...with the refutable defense that to do otherwise is immoral...

...regardless of devastating social and personal consequences...

...or what comes down to true morality.


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