I always said my favorite color was blue growing up. It almost felt like betrayal when I admitted recently it’s green now. We aren’t static, though, and we shouldn’t be surprised by or ashamed of change, in things as simple as a favorite color or as complicated as our spirituality and politics.
A few years ago when I started poking at the foundation and pulling at the roots of my assumptions and beliefs, I found my paradigm wasn’t quite as secure as I had always thought. It had to crumble to be rebuilt. Deconstruction always comes before reconstruction.
Are we ever fully aware of what we’ve inherited? What ideologies are so deeply ingrained that we never even think about them as ideologies? What traits were perpetuated so strongly our whole life that we never even view them as unique to our own specific context?
Hell. The Bible. Evolution. Science. Atonement theories. Salvation. Sexuality. Heaven. Supernaturalism. Miracles. Prayer. Faith. Doubt. Doctrines. Politics. Relationships. Grace.
Every person is told a narrative, specific to their time and place, from the time language makes sense in their brain. Depending on how adamant the storytellers are and how extreme the environment, the narrative can become nearly impenetrable. As it shapes and hardens, it creates a shell, a safe place, a container.
Very few ever escape the container, in terms of breaking out or having someone else break in. We see this in polarizing nature of our politics, the idea wars of our religion, racism that still peaks its ugly head up, the list goes on. “Echo chamber” is a popular term for a reason.
It’s not that people don’t sense change happening in them, though. There is an identity cost, a social consequence, to not maintaining what your group approves of. I’m convinced if private convictions made more public appearances, we would all be a little surprised by one another...maybe even encouraged.
My new favorite color is now green. There are also a handful of other things I could tell you that might surprise you, too. That’s not the point, though. The point is change is not only inevitable, it’s imperative. It’s progress. It’s the mechanism by which we’ve evolved to where we are today and will continue to thrive into tomorrow.