Ever wonder where your opinions come from?
Jonathan Safran Foer, a pretty famous author, just published Eating Animals, a whole book about his becoming vegetarian in a time where nobody wants to hear about it at all (even me). Can you imagine trying to change someone’s mind like this?
Opinions are often smart, but what’s interesting to me is when opinions are where we just stopped thinking. We were heading in a direction, our thoughts were getting more complex about a subject. Then we got kind of lazy. An opinion was formed, which hasn’t changed since.
Some of our opinions need to be changed radically, but challenges make us defensive, which in turn makes us close up and avoid opposing viewpoints altogether. Those whole opinions are challenged need to have it happen subversively, or not at all. This is why change often has to come from the inside a circle of trust.
But getting inside the circle changes us. Lawyers who “try to change the system from the inside” (cue movie trailer music) often become changed themselves. They’ve invested so much into it that they can’t help but have their opinion be transformed by their experiences. To whom do they owe their allegiances– their past self, or their current one?
As we get more successful in this space, we’ll get closer and closer to traditional business. We should be careful we don’t entirely lose our ability to be radical. Since it’s what makes us interesting and valuable to old world, it may be one differentiator we should really be holding onto.