Changing one’s mind

Only the dead don’t

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Drewan Baird. Oudtshoorn. 13 October 2013. 21h15. On June 21 I published On “Objectivity” and “Approach” – Man, what a ride! Can you keep up? Do you even want to?

I quoted Tom Peters: “Change? Change! Yes, we’ve almost all, finally, embraced the notion that ‘change is the only constant.’ Well, sorry. Forget change! The word is feeble. Keep saying ‘revolution.’ If it doesn’t roll easily off your tongue, then I suggest you have a perception problem – and, more to the point, a business or a career problem.”

An Old Testament scholar of international renown with whom I correspond usually replies to my questions with this regular closing remark: Tomorrow I may have a different view.

I absolutely love changing my mind.

Like Popper said, we only ever make progress when a hypothesis is collapsed and not when it is confirmed.

I spend some time this week-end with a mind altering book by The New Yorker staff writer Malcolm Gladwell: David and Goliath – Underdogs, misfits and the art of battling giants, and I realised anew how imperative creative change is.

A local newspaper published a reader’s letter last week in which the current relationship between the mayor and me is agaped because the mayor once sued me for defamation in a case we settled amicably.

I read wondering if the author would have preferred the animosity to fester, rather than have the matter resolved.

Where would South Africa be today if FW de Klerk and Thabo Mbeki did not change their minds?

Where would Christianity be if Martin Luther did not change his mind?

Why is nothing said about Jurie Harmse and Hendrik Botha and Stokkies Ruiters and Jeremy Goliath and Pieter Luiters changing their minds? In answer to promised money and position.

I am discombobulated by the popular criticism of me working for the ANC Coalition government.

I remember when people refused to advertise on O!O because I criticised the municipality too severely. Now that I work with the municipality, the selfsame people distance themselves.

I’ll have you know that I’ll work for whomever I bloody will.

An advocate I have met some time ago is known for defending a baby murderer. Another I have met – two others, in fact – have some of South Africa’s most notorious criminals as clients. Nobody ostracises these gentlemen for defending the indefendable.

I probably have made my point, except to the few doofuses who happen not to read O!O and know intimately the content of the reports, in the certain absence of insight.

I have always criticised both the DA and the ANC.

I have always had to hear that I am pro-DA and pro-ANC – at the same time.

I am certainly not pro political party at all.

I am using whatever influence I may have, real or imagined, in an attempt to effect improved service delivery in Oudtshoorn.

Proof of success?

Well, a respected local elder statesman always reminds me that it is not necessary to feature on the photograph – advice I have heeded with significant personal benefit.

I am rather much impressed with the commitment of my clients to avail themselves of advice – very much unlike former DA mayor Diane de Jager’s curt refusal to be guided by members of the local business community.

I have changed my mind quite significantly about the local DA and ANC members. The reasons I have covered at length here on O!O.

I have walked away from long held convictions on several occasions in my life. It takes raw guts. It is a frightening experience. Like birth, I imagine.

I will continue to do so enthusiastically as new facts present themselves.

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3 thoughts on “Changing one’s mind

  1. Ditto, Ditto, Ditto
    “Fluidity is the way to life. Fixation is the way to death. This is something that should be well understood.”
    -Miyamoto Musashi, the Book of Five Rings

  2. Great piece. You certainly make a difference in local Oudtshoorn, regional, and provincial politics. How else will we know, what’s really going on? Every municipality, region or province should have a Drewan Baird. Your previous piece is also so insightful. You make a difference. Let them have it!

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