It is important to know what you believe and to stick with it. I embrace a fairly strong set of convictions. We should be concerned when we go with the flow and are influenced by the latest and greatest, especially when it comes to issues of morality and ethics.
That being said, the older I get, I believe the more mellow I become, at least in areas of: “I have an opinion on that!”. Don’t be mistaken, I still have plenty of things that I am willing to fight and die for. But some of the things I would argue over a few years ago – they just aren’t quite so important now. In fact, I am looking back at some of the issues I debated and defended not too long ago and I am embarrassed. I am embarrassed, not because I held to a conviction, or because I had a wrong opinion, but because I willingly allowed some of my convictions to drive me to harshness and what probably appeared to be cold-heartedness. I have been right in some debates and won some arguments, but I have lost in the long run.
Here’s what I think I was doing wrong:
I was (working on making this past tense) more stubborn that I should have been.
I was a pretty good arguer.
When I got angry, I used really harsh words, cutting remarks, and came across as very aggressive.
I had to win at any cost.
What was the source of all of this?
I was insecure. If I felt threatened, or as though I was not being respected, I was ready to fight.
I had to be right in order to secure my place of authority.
I have worked on this a lot and through trial and error, I have improved.
As far as I am concerned, this is now rearview mirror stuff in my life.
Hopefully, there are no U turns allowed.
I have no plans of becoming wishy-washy or jelly-backboned. And please don’t push me in areas that are part of my moral makeup. But if you are looking for a fight, it will take more than what it took five years ago. There are still hills worth dying on, but just not as many of them.
The old man is mellowing with age. Isn’t that what happens to fine wine?