Systems, patterns, understanding
(Please note the following writing is not biographical.)
Say you were brought up in a very liberal environment. Down the road you found holes and inconsistencies with your first beliefs. So you do an about face and transition into a neoconservative. This second belief also falls short. So you dig in and become a “true” conservative. Ah, you have arrived. Belief three seems to be it. But questions arise. How far back should one go to conserve things? How conservative should government be? Should we become involved in this war or not is another question. What is a righteous war? Should our society be connected, at least tangentially, with the Judeo Christian traditions? You begin to lean strongly towards government having minimal influence upon institutions, religious and secular ones. So you evolve to your fourth belief, libertarian, and that is what you become.
Down the road, located far from you, your mom becomes ill. Your parents don’t have long term care insurance and your 84 year old dad is too old to do all the work. Full time care costs $15 per hour and your mom doesn’t sleep and needs help around the clock. This is too much. If you followed the libertarian paradigm your parents would have to go through their savings and then move in with you or you with them, until they pass away. You might have to appeal to charity or live minimally until they perish. It is not wise for a good libertarian, if not wealthy, to live far from their parents, but you didn’t know this when young. So you compromise, become a good liberal in this instance, have your parents gift their money to you and then qualify for government assistance. Your first belief came in handy.
The moral of this story is that each belief system was found wanting. Each was incomplete and did not have all the answers.
The best perspective is that for a time one or two approaches might apply, but that doesn’t mean you have to fully embrace them. You have become cautious. You have seen, with time, the credibility of many beliefs while realizing they all fall short. You realize for each situation a different approach might apply.