I stand by what I say...most of the time. I mean, I'm not afraid to change my mind about something when I see the light; I'm perfectly willing to admit I was wrong if you can prove to me I was. So if years ago I spoke out about something and steadfastly held on to my reasons for doing so, and now I'm suddenly singing to a different tune, well, it's not necessarily because I'm wishy-washy, it's because I've seen a different perspective since then that's altered my opinion. Clear enough? Good!
The reason I'm bringing this up is due to two completely different factors that have brought it to mind lately.
First, it's an election year, and candidates are bound by things they said, votes they made, or positions they took in years gone by; in this case, a change of heart or opinion is viewed as weak.
Second, weblogs. I've found that most bloggers choose to safeguard their privacy by revealing very few specifics about who they are. Oh sure, we pour out our hearts for all to see, holding back hardly any intimate details of our personal lives. But we do so under the shield of partial anonymity, with the vague certainty that we will probably never meet anyone who's read our writings (read: anyone who's been looking while we bared our souls).
Regarding my first point, on politicians, well, it's an ever-changing world and we live in a society who's values and mores never cease to transform with the times. Only staunch conservatives who believe in tenaciously holding on to the puritan ways of our seventeenth century ancestors, or religious zealots of any creed who believe the writings of their prophets should govern the actions of all humanity, can claim to not be influenced by the shifting tide. The survival of our world depends on our ability to accept change and adapt to it accordingly. It's not fair to sentence somebody to a particular status of credibility solely on the history of their opinions. Change is a sign of growth, and it should never be something we need to hide, feel ashamed of or apologetic about.
On the subject of bloggers, we're not running for office, so who cares what anybody thinks. Yet we feel a certain degree of vulnerability; our fear that someone who reads our blog might know who we are is akin to finding our older brother reading our diary. In many cases these are our innermost thoughts, fears, and dreams, laid out online for all to see. But we don't want anybody to know it's us; their neighbor, co-worker, brother, lover, whatever. This would expose our inside secrets to the world who knows us, and make us the object of their ridicule or admiration. Whichever it is, it's hardly relevant, since what we blog about our things we wouldn't necessarily tell them about in conversation.
So, I can't blame anybody for not being more forthcoming with their personal information. I know I wouldn't want anybody who's read my blog, thinking that they know me and showing up at my doorstep like some long lost friend. But I'm not ashamed of what I write either. I don't feel I have anything to hide.
In conclusion, I am what I am; what you see is what you get. I've no interest in disguising myself for anybody's benefit, least of all mine. I'm proud of my opinions, views, and history, and I don't care who knows it. And if tomorrow I change my mind about it, tough shit!