Powers of the mind

Posted by on April 16, 2012 at 11:55 pm.

While taking the trash out last week, I found myself staring at the not-quite-full-anymore moon and wishing I was doing something more productive than spring cleaning.

“If only I had the energy of a full moon, I could do something important, something creative, something different.”

Of course, the moon has nothing to do with the way I act, no matter how often I try to convince myself I’m a werewolf. I used to believe otherwise, but my friend Bill was quick to send several well-researched articles to disprove me when I shared my belief of the old wives’ tale. It wasn’t long before I came up with a serious lack of evidence and had to admit he was correct.

Thinking of that conversation, typed furiously into a Gchat window, I remember the joy of being proven wrong.

It isn’t that I enjoy having the wrong information, and it’s not that I choose to be wrong on purpose, but I have a basic need to challenge everything. And then, after I’ve challenged it, I often find myself admitting I was wrong and changing my position. For me, it is an occasion to be cherished. It’s the best way to gather new information and to engage in a conversation with a purpose. And being a journalist has made me more suspicious of every claim than I used to be.

A lot of people don’t like that approach. They’d rather I took them at their word on everything they say. Or worse, they try to shame me for a position I took long after I’ve admitted I was wrong.

When I looked at the moon, I realized I hadn’t engaged in that kind of conversation for weeks. I was feeling unproductive because I wasn’t challenging myself, I wasn’t learning. I’ve made myself become more engaged since then, and it’s amazing how much better I feel.

And it’s true the moon doesn’t have the special powers I liked to imagine, but thanks to Bill, when I caught sight of it, it gave me the energy I wanted it to have.

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