Recently another perverse effect of the fixed mindset became obvious to me as I was in the US watching a presidential election debate (but this can be observed in any country).
Commentators and debaters alike spent their time referring to positions, votes, declarations, papers, etc written by the candidates in the course of their career. They used these references – sometimes decades old- to pinpoint inconsistencies in the declarations of candidates.
A striking question that came to me is “why can’t people be allowed to change their mind?”. Why can’t we understand that in some instances, people do change their point of view? Of course you would not necessarily expect people to change fundamentally their values (or then very slowly). But on a number of issues, faced with new evidence and experience, people should be allowed to change their minds!
For example, a politician suddenly becoming president of a large, powerful country will certainly encounter experiences in this unique position that will lead him to reconsider certain of his beliefs or opinions. Still he/she is not to show any of this publicly. It is as if our society would not accept any growth and change from these people.
What is amazing is how difficult it is for us to accept that people can indeed change their mind on some fundamental issues. And this is probably caused by our ‘fixed mindset’ inheritance.
The next time someone you know dares say that he/she changed his/her mind on something important, support this person. It is tough to say this in our societies. Let change it and support growth and change. We collectively need it.