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Have you ever changed your mind about something — a song, a food, an activity, a person — that you were sure you loved or hated?

Do you tend to be open-minded and flexible about your likes and dislikes? Or are you generally set in your tastes? Are you willing to give something or somebody a second chance? How about admitting you were colossally wrong in your initial judgment?
In “I Thought I Hated Pop Music. ‘Dancing Queen’ Changed My Mind.,” Jeff Tweedy, the singer and guitarist of the band Wilco, writes about his newfound love for Abba, the Swedish supergroup from the 1970s:
It’s important to admit when you’re wrong. And though I once bristled at the notion that there could ever be such a thing as a wrong musical opinion, I have since come to accept that there is, in fact, such a thing. I know because I had one: I was colossally wrong about the song “Dancing Queen” by Abba.
I’m happy I can admit it, maybe even a touch proud of myself for not digging in my heels and hating this song for even a second longer than I had to (unlike some friends I know who are still holding out). To me, looking back, the weirdest part is that I ever felt I had to hate something so clearly irresistible. In a way, I blame the time and place where I grew up. The mid-1970s, when “Dancing Queen” came out, was a time when there were very strict lines being drawn between cultural camps. As a kid who liked punk rock, this tune was situated deep in enemy territory, at the intersection of pop and disco. I am, perhaps, a bit too skeptical by nature, but scanning the horizons of my memory — seeing what I saw around me from about the mid-70s to the late ’80s — I’d say there was something else going on, too. I was just a kid growing up back then. And in that particular nanosecond of geological time, kids hated stuff.
In particular, my group of friends and I despised a lot of music and, by extension, the morons who would dare admit that they liked something we hated. Music. Can you believe it? It seems hard to imagine now that a group of preteens could be capable of conjuring vein-bulging fury at the mere mention of the band Styx. But we were. And we did.
Why did we feel this way? Mostly, I think, because hating certain music gave us a way of defining ourselves. Our identities were indistinct, and drawing a line in the sand between what we liked and what we hated made our young hearts feel whole. Mr. Tweedy writes about the moment many years later when his thinking completely changed. He was standing in a grocery store aisle, staring at the overhead speaker, “just reeling at this familiar melody and how exuberantly sad it was. ‘Having the time of your life!’” He explains: “It was a real ‘come to Jesus’ moment. A ‘come to Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid’ moment.”
He continues: Before that day, I, along with many others, had denied myself an undeniable joy. Countless fantastic records and deep grooves were dismissed and derided out of ignorance. But of course, this song and this music was always going to win eventually. Because it’s just too special to ignore forever.
To this day, whenever I think I dislike a piece of music, I think about “Dancing Queen” and am feeling humbled right after I've listened to it.
That song taught me that I can’t ever completely trust my negative reactions and act upon them. I was burned so badly by this one song being withheld from my heart for so long. I try to never listen to music now without first examining my own mind and politely asking whatever blind spots I’m afflicted with to move aside long enough for my gut to be the judge. And even then, if I don’t like something, I make a mental note to try it again in 10 years.
My students, read the entire article and then tell us: What have you recently changed your mind about or had a recent change of mind about? Tell us about something that you once liked, loved, hated or dismissed but that you later dramatically revised your judgment about. Was it hard to admit to yourself or to others that you were wrong all along?
How have your tastes changed or grown over time? Do you tend to be open-minded and flexible about your likes and dislikes? Or, once you love or hate something, do you never waiver? Mr. Tweedy writes that in the 1970s, when “Dancing Queen” came out, there were “very strict lines being drawn between cultural camps” and that, as a kid who liked punk rock, the song was “situated deep in enemy territory.” Does that resonate with your own experiences? Do you ever feel as if you aren’t allowed to like or dislike certain things because of your own cultural identification?
Mr. Tweedy ends his essay, “So if you take anything away from this, I hope it will be this recommendation: Spend some time looking for a song (or a book or a film or a painting or a person) you might have unfairly maligned.” Do you agree with his advice? Are we all too quick to pass judgment on things, and might that make us miss out on great experiences and joys? In the future, do you think you will try to give your dislikes and hates another chance?
A guest essayist realizes he was wrong about pop music. When have you realized that you unfairly misjudged something or someone?

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