It’s all about how you handle them.
In our dualistic world, we’re required to be for or against things. Right or wrong, good or evil, love or hate, but is it always one or the other?
Okay maybe for the sake of just getting on with life we need to think something is correct and good or bad but is that the case in every situation.
The savour or the monster.
While the Germans saw him as a hero, the rest of the world saw him as a madman, hell-bent on world domination and the destruction of civilisation as it existed.
More contemporarily the policies of the US against Cuba since the rise of Fidel Castro in 1959. There are arguments on both sides of each being the hero and the other being the villan. The same can be said for all arguments.
Nothing in nature is right or wrong but thinking makes it so.
Humans like to apportion an opinion on things being right or wrong. It’s right to love, it’s wrong to kill, it’s good to grow, it’s bad to destroy – and as you read those words you already know some arguments on the other side, don’t you?
If we make the discussion personal, say it’s wrong to kill a child. Better still, it’s wrong to kill your child! Well that’s easy. Yes it’s wrong and a discussion for the opposite is difficult. But if we make the same point but remove the emotion while adding a little compassion. What if it’s someone else’s child, who’s in terrible pain and a gentle death could bring great relief? Is it then okay, or not?
Step further back to talk about the off-spring of a cow. All of a sudden the idea of a calf going to the slaughter-house so you have some succulent veal cutlets for dinner is an entirely different discussion, maybe positive. After all, it’s just a calf.
You may say these situations are different but really they’re all a variation on the same discussion, only the line in the sand is in a different place.
Everything is shades of grey.
We like to talk in absolutes of good/bad, right/wrong, black/white but it only takes a moments thought to see the situations where it’s a subtle shade of grey and nothing is absolute. Extending this too far and the mistake is to end up never taking a position on anything.
Every moment we’re called on by life to make a definitive decision one way or another. If you didn’t you’d never drive across an intersection or get out of bed. The real issue is dealing with topics for the sake of getting on with life and not being stuck on something inappropriate.
Opinions are not reality.
Your opinion of a situation is just that, an opinion. It’s not necessarily reality. It may be, but it may also not be reality. To get on with the day it’s necessary to assume your opinions are based on truth and reality but it’s when the dynamic changes you’ll be really challenged.
You assume you’ll walk to where you parked your car to find it where you left it. What if it’s gone? The world tilts, you struggle with the new reality, you look around to see if you’re looking in the right place, retrace your steps, scratch your head and start to wonder if…? How many assumptions are you now considering, all of them with associated opinions. It’s suddenly too easy to jump to conclusions.
Hold opinions, like a wet cake of soap.
Develop your opinions gently, you need them to make sense of the world but hold onto them just right.
Hold them firmly enough to get on with your day and function in the world. Most of the time the gentle wet cake of soap holding technique is all that is needed to function day-to-day.
If you hold too loosely your opinions will slide from you as you’re pushed and pulled by life causing you to have no opinion on anything and open to manipulation by people and life.
If you hold on too firm, and your opinion will fire from your hand like a wet cake of soap and when a shift in reality happens you’ll have no ability to deal with the new dynamic.
Hold onto your opinions gently, just enough to balance them in your life. It’s not reality but an opinion, and everything is a shade of grey.