---John Marshall Harlan (Associate Justice of the Supreme Court)
I have changed my mind many times in my life, and I never worried about my consistency. An intelligent person will change his/her perspective as he/she gains new information about a subject, and as we mature, we often gain new information. When I was younger life seemed so very black or white. It was difficult to pay attention to another person's point of view when looking through my haze of righteousness. Somehow when I reached my forties, the haze lifted enough to allow me to see different sides of most arguments as valid.
Sometimes I realized that I had made a decision based on misinformation and adjusted that decision accordingly. That does not make me a "flip-flopper" or a liar. It does not make me weak or unreliable. Instead, it makes me thoughtful and honest about my ever-changing feelings about our ever changing world. Yes...I am proud to be consistently inconsistent.
I am also happy that I can accept that trait in the politicians that I will ultimately vote for in November. The fact that a good many of them (296 Representatives and 77 Senators) voted for the war in Iraq, isn't hard to understand, given the information they were given. The fact that many of them changed their mind after being given a more realistic assessment of the situation, makes me admire them, not call them to task for being wishy-washy. The fact that President Obama changed his views on gay marriage doesn't mean he is acquiescing to lobbyists but rather listening to the words of his advisors (and his two lovely daughters) and evolving along with the nation he oversees and not giving in to preconceived notions.
It is vital that those in control leave these preconceived notions at the door when making decisions. One of the books that I reviewed this week, Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Major Medical Breakthroughs in the Twentieth Century by Morton Meyers, M.D. shows us that even in science and medical breakthroughs, these notions are the very thing that can stymie our progress. I really enjoyed this book and was fascinated with Meyer's explanation of the accidents that brought us some of medicine's most amazing discoveries. Reading this will definitely make you the most interesting guest at your next dinner party.
After straining my brain reading Meyer's book, I decided a cozy mystery would be perfect, and chose to read The Deadly Legal Affair by K.M. Morgan. It is a silly mystery with a protagonist named McDare, a baker named Granny Annie and a sleazy lawyer named Case. There is the requisite murder and, of course, the dog named Shamus. This quick little mystery is great for beach or bed-time.
As always, complete reviews of these books follow this blog.