Saturday, February 27, 2010

Changing My Mind

1 Corinthians 14:20 "Brothers and sisters, do not be children in your thinking; rather, be infants in evil, but in thinking be adults."

It's not the most ground-shaking example, and I'm sure there are times my thinking has been changed in much more momentous ways, but the thought that comes to mind in ways that my opinion has been changed is about jazz music. I know it's pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of life, but I think the process for how my mind was changed is interesting in retrospect.

I had no interest in jazz really. I definitely had no knowledge of it. I was a teen pretty set in my likes and dislikes and jazz, as something I had no exposure to, was settled in the dislike category. It didn't help that I had a little bit of that "orchestra snob" thing going on, either.

That was all well and good until Mr. Winter issued me an invitation, an invitation to join the high school jazz band. The bassist was graduating, and there was no one else. Without a real high stress class in the period when they rehearsed, I went to visit the class the last few months before school let out that year. I didn't get the music AT ALL, but, well, an invitation is hard to refuse and admitting I didn't think I could catch on DEFINITELY wasn't an option. I accepted, and the next fall my education began.

In the first few months my mind was changed. Totally and completely, and I believe my mind was able to change because I gave something new a chance, a BIG chance. I didn't just turn a music station on once or twice and consider that an effort. I immersed myself in something new and learned it inside out. I found out there was a complexity, an intelligenc, and a humor to jazz that I never knew existed from the outside. Maybe some people can appreciate it without knowing it, but for me, in this instance, knowledge and understanding were everything.

That's not to say that studying and learning and living something always will or always should change a mind. I had that mini-discussion with the whole evolution thing that came up earlier in the week. I wouldn't expect someone to completely change his or her beliefs just because of certain knowledge. However, even an opinion AGAINST something is a better opinion when it is informed about the subject. I could have come out of the jazz band hating jazz as much or more than before even having studied it. There are still some sub-genres with which I want nothing to do. But I've given it a chance. I have learned about it. I have knowledge on which to base my opinion, and that feels like it has a lot more integrity to it than that alternative.

Prayer: Open my mind to your ongoing revelation, O God.

No comments: