Opinions – They’re like a wet cake of soap.

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.

Opinion is a matter of perspective.

Savour or Monster? A matter of perspective

The savour or the monster.

In the early 1930’s the German people had great hope in the policies of Adolf Hitler to get them out of the mess created by the Treaty of Versailles resulting from World War One.

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.

Hold your opinions gently.

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.

How have you dealt with letting go of long held opinions?

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Ashcroft Harrison 12 March, 2013, 5:34 PM

    ‘… because to be enlightened, means to have no beliefs or opinions. Beliefs are not necessary in truth, and opinions are merely an expression of ignorance . The enlightened way of being may involve expressing your point of view from time to time, but this is a fundamentally different thing to having and giving an opinion.

    You always have a point of view. A point of view is your intelligent seeing of the situation now from the position you are in. An opinion, on the other hand, is a point of view that the ego has attached to, and attempts to uphold and apply to situations that are not now, and therefore not necessarily appropriate. Opinions come from beliefs, and beliefs come from the ego.’

    excerpt from The Personal Universe, 2012, Ashcroft Harrison

  • Deborah Neyle 7 April, 2013, 3:08 PM

    One of the classic methods for disrupting communication is to contest a semantic issue in the writer’s work. This action leads readers away from the original intent of the work.
    I am sure that a point of view can be imbued in one’s ego, as the point of view arises through my thoughts. My past experiences, assessments of present situations and desires for the future influence both my point of view and my willingness to express such a point publically or privately.
    Nevertheless, the issue of IK’s writing is to ask everyone to hold their points of view and/or opinions (and/or beliefs) a little less closely, to acknowledge the possibility of incomplete knowledge or inaccurate assessments of a situation. To allow that a person my act in ways that are opposite to the points of view they may hold. Society condones this type of action in a large number of situations. “Do you like my new dress/hair style?” Do you as a young person join the HItler Youth organisation if your parents safety and employment are conditional on doing that (as IK has brought Adolf into the writing)?” “Do you later delude yourself about the reason for actions as life would be untenable if you did not?
    The suggestion that we should hold our opinions loosely,
    consider the factors that influence your own positions and
    accept that another person may believe that their point of view is at least as valid is an important messge.
    However, it is my belief/point of view/opinion that a semantic challenge is not a legitimate response to a piece of writing,as the semantics do not address the thrust of the article.
    Deb N


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