On opining

For at least the last 20 years, I can see that I have been pretty opinionated. In my late teens and early twenties, every opinion and point of view that I had was of equal value and equal importance. What validated these opinions? Little more than my own sense of righteousness and how smart I thought I was.

Over time, I think I have softened. Not that I don’t think I’m smart or righteous, but I understand now that not every opinion I have is equally important and valuable. These days, I can refrain from expressing my point of view on some things. Who cares if ranch dip tastes better than French onion? (It does.) Or which game is better, World of Warcraft or Lord of the Rings: Online? (LOTRO for the win!) Or who’s hotter, Jessica Alba or Jessica Biel? (Alba of course.)

In some cases, it’s because I realize that this is some of that small stuff that we shouldn’t sweat. Sometimes it’s because I really don’t care. And occasionally, it’s because it’s just not worth getting into the debate with the other person. “Believe what you want! Have fun being wrong!” is what I think at those times. And yes, it is satisfying to be right. But I am coming to know that often, there is no right and wrong, just different. This is a hard lesson for me. My overdue thanks go out to all who have helped me to learn it and my apologies to all who have to continue to assist in my education.

But there are things that are important; things that go to the core of what makes me the person whom I perceive myself to be. On these matters, it is perhaps more imperative to express my opinion, to engage in debate. Those are the times that I want desperately to change the mind of the other person. More often than not, I can’t. Blast!

So, from time to time you might catch me staking out a pretty inflexible position on some issue or another. Just be patient, try to understand what I’m trying to say, and above all, know that I am right.

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