I Express a Strong Opinion

My blessing, or perhaps curse, is that of every situation calling for decisive judgment I am able to see two sides. I see the attractions of a manly, simple style, but also am not blind to the appeal of euphuistic ornamentation; I fear the snobbery of elites but also shrink from the brazenness of the profanum vulgus; I love the simple clog dances of the rustic farmer but also the rococo cosmopolitanism of the Tin Pan Alley urbanite; my heart melts at the simple pacifism of THE NAZARENE, but I recognize also that sometimes if we fail to pay thuggery back in a language it understands we are responsible for its flourishing. That said I felt I was shrinking from a responsibility viz. to have and express a strong opinion. Is not humanity pushed forward by those whose opinions are strong? Is not politics a fight of good versus evil, where the holy by dithering give the palm of power to the base? Is it not a sign of a stout tree-like soul to know what one thinks and say it forcefully, opining like the proverbial Lone Pine, if instead of xylem, phloem and chloroplasts it had instead Syntax and Propositions and Words?

Bearing these and a thousand other equally perspicuous considerations firmly in mind I approached my good friend Todd, waited for him to mention a topic upon which opinions differ and vouchsafed upon him a right strong one.

“Wow” said Todd “That’s a strong opinion. And you expressed it strongly.”

“It is.” I said. “And I did.”

“You must feel it strongly.”

“I do. The matter upon which I have opined is one of which I have settled my mind with the firmness of a fortification that will withstand the ages AERE PERENNIUS” was my response. “There is no other way. That is the way it is.”

“I see.” said Todd “Well…I agree with you.”

“As you should.” I said.

I returned to my library and my studies upon the ancient Cynics and their progenitor Antisthenes. Evening became night. I pored over the ancient tomes. My eyelids grew heavy. Suddenly as if in a dream the old philosopher appeared to me

“Kaplan!” he said “You expressed a strong opinion and convinced your friend of it. But what if?”

My head snapped backwards, I was as awake as the Sleepless Noctophant. I got on my bicycle hurried over in top speed to Todd’s house, banged on the door. He came out bleary-eyed. I shouted in his ear, protecting my conscience from an un-expungable blot;

“REconsider, my good friend! Reconsider. I might be wrong!”


3 thoughts on “I Express a Strong Opinion

  1. To me, the interesting question is “What drives one to need to have a strong opinion?” There is always reasonable rationalization …. but that usually avoids the underlying (and fractal) patterns of what drives instinctive behavior and needs. ( I must admit, I am “driven” to find the fractal patterns.)

    Assuming this is a true story, let me suggest that your need to experiment with this “strong opinion” idea was the outcome of your instinctive method for avoiding the stuck feelings of Anger / Disgrace / Hurt (trust broken) that were first triggered (not caused) by your father’s father (or his energy field) when you were 14 months old. (This leads to this generational pattern being re-triggered by individuals in the “boss’s boss” position in your life.)

    The “emotional solder” (part of the Life Algorithm) is holding in “hardwired beliefs” along the line of “He (GF) doesn’t say regarding Life that the family is honored by Life. I am dishonored.” — This belief pattern would help drive you to seek external honor — again and again — and this time, seeking honor showed up in the idea of having a strong opinion. You have undoubtedly received MANY honors. Unfortunately, getting honors, including the “honor” of Todd’s agreeing with you — still does not change your personal “truth” — the fractal stress pattern – that “I am dishonored.” So your follow-on was to tell Todd to “think again” — in case he later “dishonored you.”

    To change the pattern, thus freeing one from its constraints, requires “melting off” the “emotional solder” of anger / disgrace / hurt, recognizing your “truth” (which helps create your sense of “how life is”) and then choosing to change that “truth” to something better …. such as “I honor me – as unique expression of Life Energy. I am willing to have people in my life who honor me as unique expression of Life Energy. This is MY life, My adventure.” Once transformed (i.e, the initial conditions of the Life Algorithm are changed), the new beliefs are further reinforced by your instinctive reactions. You experience more freedom … and more sense of feeling honored, naturally!

    • I’d think the urge simply resounds around no native reasoning system beyond darwinism. It’s just a process of passing on beliefs/strong opinions and as to which end up surviving. Those that don’t get their carriers killed are…well, they might have assisted the carrier to live, or they might be dead weight (but not enough weight to get the carrier killed. as yet.). As Pratchett puts it – pointing out where the good fruit is.

      Assuming it is good fruit.

  2. “Kaplan!” he said “You expressed a strong opinion and convinced your friend of it. But what if?”

    My head snapped backwards
    That philosopher ghost must have said a convincing thing.

    But what if?

    And reconsider what? If one urges another to take them impression of ones own belief upon their own soul, the principle of the impressioning is urging, not considering.

    Okay, it was probably a cautionary tale but I couldn’t resist a devils advocate – because wot if, m8? 😉

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