Curious quote, huh? I quoted this a little earlier this week in a class discussion (I think I transposed it, but let's be honest, was anyone paying attention?). I wasn't referring to liberals or conservatives in politics, I mentioned this to introduce the idea of progression of thought.
We start out in life with a basic concept of things, and we mosey along and things change. When you're little an apple is red or green and grows on trees. When you're older it's sold for a dollar a pound, filled with vitamins A and E, is the base for almost all fruit juices, needs to be scrubbed thoroughly because of the latest salmonella scare, and is utilized as an organic fertilizer due the high amount of nitrogen. As we live, our thought progresses to include more information and our opinions change.
In my class I spoke of this as pertaining to the concept of Anthropology. I said that as we go through this class our thoughts on things are constantly changing. In this certain case we study the Inuits and at the beginning we are strongly in favor of letting them do what they want. We read some more and then we go back and believe they need restrictions and favor the opposition. Then next week we read another article and we are back to supporting the Inuit. We entered this subject knowing nothing or very little, but as we travel along, opinions are made and our thoughts shift back and forth.
The shifting of thinking happens with everything you do. Some cases have more dramatic shifts, usually when it is a new subject, and some thinking shifts very little. This needs to be remembered not just with yourself, but with others. I am not who I was 8 years ago. My thoughts have shifted back and forth and they continue to do so. I continually build and reshape my thoughts, and I make myself aware that everyone else does the same.
Progression of thought is a concept that is important to understanding people. To know the process is to better understand people and their habits.