Fickle or Open-Minded?

Sometimes I wonder if I’m open-minded or just fickle.

I thought of this as I was reading “You – The Owners Manual“. I’m really enjoying the book and how it explains in general terms how you body works and what you can do to stay healthy. And part of that is regarding what you eat. I’m considering seriously taking their guidelines and trying to apply them to my lifestyle.

Back in January, I made it my New Years Resolution to lose weight (a lot of it) by August. I did excellent the first month and a half, slipped some, and have now been steady for a few months. But as you recall, I was toting my most recent fad diet as possibly being the way to eat for the rest of my life. This also happened both times I tried the Atkins diet.

So now I wonder. Is it only because this is a learning process, or am I just trying out any diet that comes across as legitimate? Granted each time, my knowledge of dietary habits has improved. With Atkins and the Zone Diet I learned how detrimental sugar and refined flour are to your system. And with Let’s Do Lunch, I got back into eating fruits and vegetables more frequently. I’m paying more attention to what I eat, so they both could not have been that bad.

But what about other aspects of life? Am I fickle or open-minded? On most subjects, if you come to me with a well reasoned argument, I’ll seriously consider your side of the topic. I suppose I could easily be labelled a flip-flopper. I can’t say that I have very strong convictions on very many subjects. Partly because I think I can see the reason behind both sides. I’ve often been on both sides of the fence so things usually don’t seem as black and white.

A good example is unions vs. business. On one hand, unions are working for people who don’t have the means that business has in order to look out for their self interest. But on the business side, they don’t have limitless pockets and do have to keep the business moving. In general, I do fall on the union side of this issue because businesses all too often plead poverty yet have high paid management and low paid workers. But I do consider businesses concerns because that is not always the case.

Abortion is another issue. I’m pro-choice, but I understand the pro-life cause. Especially now that I’m a father. I used to feel life started at birth, but now I’m not so sure. Technically it’s at conception, but the fetus cannot live on it’s own then. So then when is it. At the end of the first trimester? Second trimester? Is there really some magic moment of no turning back? Then there is a utilitarian viewpoint, but I won’t go there.

But back to topic. This semi-wavering view has sometimes made me wonder if I’m wishy washy. I sometimes wonder if I’m too easily swayed. I’ve just seen a movie that I thought was excellent. Talk to some friends who’s opinion I respect and they point out what they see as failings with it. It’s quite possible my opinion will change. And in truth, I often hold back my negative opinions since I don’t necessarily want to tarnish other’s enjoyment.

A last example is another that brought my attention to this dilemma. Last fall and winter I spent a good amount of time researching cars. I’ve always had second hand cars, so I’ve become tired of the maintenance of them. So I geared myself toward those cars with good maintenance levels along with those with higher owner satisfaction. I wouldn’t want a car that I kept finding faults with. In the research, the Japanese cars were constantly at the top and most American cars toward the bottom. So I got on a kick of constantly praising the Japanese cars and panning the American cars when I discussed them with others. But every once in a while I’d see a review here or there praising this or that American car. I slowly came back around to realizing that American cars were not THAT bad.

Now this is kind of a natural progression in a line of thought, but it does show a tendancy toward changing viewpoints rather than one considered more consistant. Rregardless, I hope that if I become a better person because of my wavering, I’d rather that than be a pig-headed curmudgeon.


~ by Frank on July 4, 2007.

3 Responses to “Fickle or Open-Minded?”

  1. What’s the biggest insult you can give to a would-be politician? Call him a flip-flopper. Even when things are rarely so black and white. Not to change the subject of your post, but it’s a shame that meaningful and thoughtful dialogue has no place in Parliament or Congress.

  2. It’s not really a change of subject. It’s definitely related and something I was thinking about on this topic. Even flip-flopper versus steadfast is not black and white. On one hand if you see enough evidence to contradict your original conviction, then you change it. But if it happens often and even worse if it changes due to favorable political stance, then where do you really stand. In general, you vote for a politician who holds the same values. If there is a good risk that it may change due to the winds of popularity, then there’s a problem.

    Personally, I did not feel Kerry was a flip-flopper. Though even if he was, would it have been worse than what we got instead.

  3. This is off your political topic, and more to the You: the Owner’s Manual book. Dr. Michael Roizen, who is the author, has spoken at a few of my nursing association’s annual meetings. He also has set up this website:, which is a questionnaire you fill out on your health habits (or lack thereof) and the results show you how many years old you are healthwise. Sometime’s it’s less than your “real age” and sometimes it’s more. Interesting site because it shows how your habits affect your health, and I recommend it to all.

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