“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for everything.” – Alexander Hamilton
This is a popular quote I heard a lot growing up. While I got it theoretically, I don’t think I ever understood what it meant.
I’ve always been able to see multiple sides of an equation. This has been both useful and detrimental in my life.
• I’m a great mediator in disagreements; between two opposing views
• Mostly open-minded to different opinions, experiences, and ideas
• I would do well on any side of a debate at school 😝
• When I DO decide on something i.e. an opinion or belief, I get REALLY excited; feel peaceful, grounded, and unstoppable from the sense of assuredness
• Easily swayed/lacking solid ground to stand on because I can see merits to all sides/opinions
• Feeling a weakness in my identity and a sense of being lost/not knowing myself
• Prone to overthinking and rumination because there are SO many sides and factors to consider
• Prone to indecisiveness as a result
As I continue to grow, experience, and develop, what I’m discovering is the balance between open-mindedness and making a CHOICE, i.e. choosing where I stand on an issue. They are not and do not have to be mutually exclusive.
Making a choice doesn’t mean I’m necessarily saying the opposition is “wrong” or invalid.
Making a choice doesn’t mean closing myself off to other possibilities or being rigid. NOR does being open-minded mean I’m forced to take on ALL other possibilities and opinions.
A choice is simply a statement that while both A and B may be true and valid in different contexts, when held up against my own goals and values, I am more committed to B than I am to A. Or vice versa.
A choice is nothing more than a stronger commitment and alignment with one option, over another. And for some people, it is much MUCH stronger.
Regardless, in order to move the conversation along, I think we could all do with a little more willingness to acknowledge opinions and experiences that are different to our own.
Illustration via @ashleymurray.co