"Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large; I contain multitudes"
Montaigne, Emerson & Whitman have each taught me something about the folly of consistency. But even with great teachers like these, I repeatedly struggle with this. With Election Day approaching, I tried to imagine what it would be like to be a thinking politician running for high office. I've established a position on an issue. Then, during the campaign, I'm exposed to information persuading me to change that position. I recall my teachers and outline for voters how I've now shifted my view. Would quoting Whitman save me from being labeled a "flip-flopper"? How would voters know what I stood for if I didn't stay consistent? When was the last time you reversed yourself on something? What was that like for you?
Even with something as prosaic as this blog, I struggle. Will I write something this week or month in direct opposition to something I wrote in March or July? On more than one occasion, I've begun writing my couple of paragraphs and then recall having said something different in an earlier post. Uh-oh; suppose someone remembers and catches an inconsistency? What an exhausting battle this is. Is anyone else tired?