I went out and checked the traps recently and decided to change my mind. I caught a skunk. Well, even thought I don’t want to get on the bad side of a skunk, they really don’t cause me any problems. Besides, how would I get a skunk out of the trap and kill it without getting sprayed. I couldn’t even figure out how to get him out of the trap and let him go. I called Sherry and she took me out of my mystery. She told me to take a long pole and open the door. So that’s what I did. In fact I took a long pole and a piece of plywood with me. I hid behind the plywood, tripped the door latch with the long pole, and ran. Old Pepe’le’Pew just sort of mosied on out and left.
I was a child in the fourth grade when somebody came to our room and told us that President John F. Kennedy had been shot and killed. All I knew was what the news was reporting at the time. As I’ve lived and grown though, I’ve come to believe that his death really was a conspiracy. He hadn’t been in office anytime before some of his advisors convinced him that we needed to send troops to Vietnam. Our soldiers had not been there very long before that old boy figured out that he had been hoodwinked. He started making plans to pull our men back out, and was killed soon thereafter. Make no mistake about it – John F. was no saint. Scandals always plagued his family. He was born into wealth and I don’t think he ever knew how to relate to the common man. And that was one guy who absolutely would not be faithful to his wife. But I have always been most impressed with the fact that he had no problem with saying “I changed my mind.”
Changing our minds is often looked at as a bad thing. We’re afraid that if we change our minds, then people will think we’re indecisive, or maybe that we don’t think things through before making a decision. But my hat is off to someone who doesn’t let pride get in the way. And generally speaking, most of our problems come back to pride. We’d rather go on and hold to a wrong decision rather than change our minds and risk looking bad in public. There’s even a biblical backing for changing our minds. See Matthew 21:28-31.
Our president is sending more of our young men and women to fight a war that cannot be won. Even with two thirds of Americans saying they are opposed to sending more troops, he wouldn’t change his mind. I think if you could ever catch him on an honest day, he would admit that he has made a bad decision. But once it has been said, then it has to be done. Otherwise, folks might think him to be weak, or short sighted. He’s going ahead and committing money we don’t have to fight global warming while other scientists are saying we are headed for another ice age. I think he knows he jumped the gun on that one, but he’s not turning around.
In my shop I’m always having to change my mind. Sometimes it looks good in my mind, but it just doesn’t work in real life. If I didn’t change my mind, alter plans, scrap ideas, and rethink things, I would have been out of business long ago. Only thing I want to know is this – if changing one’s mind works for an average white boy like me, then how come better men can’t see that they could be helped by doing the same thing? I tend to think that if we could get past the stigma and let everybody know it’s OK to be wrong even after our best efforts, then we’d all feel more free to change our minds and do better.
You know, years ago I said I wasn’t going to build any more banjos. I know some think I’m wishy-washy when I change my mind. But over the years I’ve thought of some things I’d like to do on a banjo. So don’t hold me to what I said way back when. So, if you hear me talking about something I’ll always do, or I’ll never do, you might not want to take that as the final word. I’m liable to come along and change my mind.
Makin’ sawdust & Diggin’ the music