I've been thinking about how our minds change regarding certain issues. Well, the issue I'm thinking about is war. Unfortunately, this issue of a war with Iraq (let's not forget that it's a war with Iraq and not only Saddam. If the U.S. wanted to get rid of Saddam, I'm sure they could easily) is turning out to be one of the most important issues in foreign policy in my life thus far. There are lots of reasons that I won't get into, but it's not the point anyway. Since the Bush administration is going to move ahead with war no matter what anyone says, the media's continued insistence on calling it a "potential war" is bordering on ridiculous.
But I wanted to say something about changing minds. I was thinking about how, when I was a little younger, I was a big supporter of the military, and G.I. Joe was my Real American Hero. I watched the first Gulf War on CNN at the age of 7 or 8 and then re-enacted the cool bombings and action with my toys. I had pro-Desert Storm shits and wore a yellow ribbon. Even as a teenager, I had all sorts of military paraphernalia and clothing (I still wear combat pants and shorts and jackets simply because they are comfortable and durable). I can't remember specific events, but I'm sure my typical response to foreign affairs during my early teens was "why don't we just bomb them?"
But something changed. It wasn't profound, I don't think. I guess I just grew up a little. Sometime during high school, I stopped buying into the glamorization of war and violence. I don't know when it was, and it probably wasn't sudden. But the point is that people change. Even though I went to Catholic schools for 13 years, I've been able to break away from those influences without any problem (though I was ridiculed in 6th grade by my nun teacher and the rest of the class because I believed in evolution...).
I suspect most people don't bother to evaluate their beliefs and tend to stick with whatever they were taught at a young age. I won't attempt to explain why that is. It seems to me there are many many grown adults who still hold on to that childish, reflexive "let's bomb them" world view, and I hope there could be some way to change that thought process. Well I think I know one way to change that thought process, but it'll only work if people want to change. So, as long as people continue to succumb to fear of the demon of the day, this self-defeating attitude will remain.
Maybe I'll say more later when I remember where I was going with that thought...