Opinions. We all have-em. We wear them like hats, like watches, like big fur coats. Live by them, die by them. Defend and protect them. Drew them like swords upon the faintest whiff of a battle. Get hurt when they are hit, scared when they are tried, scarred when they are tested, terrified when they teeter a tightrope across the jaws of another opposing opinion, for they may out-opinion our own collapsible opinion. And that’s just tragic beyond all measure.
I, myself, am guilty on every charge.
These times more than ever, this year, this summer. One opinion social distancing from the next, by an arm’s length and more.
We pick a team, a side of the fence to sit on. Devour all information which carries our opinions forward, and discard that which doesn’t. Selective filter. Our YouTube library will do this for us, so will our friends and family and social circles. Our Reticular Activating System will take us exactly where we need to be. See only what we want to see, and rationalise that which we can’t. Our opinions, our opinions; our ‘static libraries of thought’ as one young visionary once coined. Self-serving and beguilingly biased. Formed by our forefathers, most of the time. Dependent on a past life, more often than not. Constructed from the materials of our own conditioning, our heritage and race and sex and gender and agenda and class and experience. From our genetics and religion and non-religion and education and lack of it. From our subjectivity and desire and Fate or chance or whatever else we believe, or don’t believe. We are at the mercy of so many random forces, and are too complex to even comprehend ourselves that it’s almost too absurd to take too seriously. Yet we do. We do take it too seriously. So serious that we are willing to turn friends into enemies in the blink of an eye. A battle of wills, an emotional clash. A stand-off, a fight. That vs This. You vs I. A tit-for-tat one-upmanship leading to dangerous destinations. No one backs down and the stakes get higher. You push me so I slap you, then you punch me and I bite you back. Very rarely is there a clear winner. War is the full stop at the end of the sentence. Just look at our bloody past, where everybody’s history is covered in it. No one comes away unscathed. And don’t think that things would have been kinder if the shoe was on the other foot. Power is a drug which does not discriminate.
Mob Rule stands on one street corner and the despotism of systems stand on the next. A self-created monster with two heads. Households divided. Blood on bricks. There are always tricks and propaganda, many moving parts and contradictory undulations, circles and cycles, narratives which dissolve and reform again. Good mixed in with the bad and bad mixed in with the good. Very rarely is there a clear-cut version of victim and villain. No matter how much we want our truth to be true. A political landscape so vast it folds in on itself, go so far Left and you’ll find yourself on the Right, having no clue how you got there, and of course vice versa. Opinions. Ideologues. To be one thing for all things is an unsightly blindness. Think for yourself and let the bandwagons roll, all bandwagons.
From an Almost Healthy perspective turn the attention inwards at our own private worlds. Start from home. What are we doing today? What side of the bed did we get out of? What and who are we addicted to? What do we have too much of, too little of? Where we at? What’s broken and needs to be fixed? What’s the point in political reform if we haven’t reformed ourselves? Dead-set on changing a government but still haven’t changed ourselves. Carrying banners and signing petitions but still insecure, jealous, angry, resentful, petty, self-indulgent, self-sabotaging, self-deluding.
Self-restraint is a good thing, if only a little. Self-control in not always letting our opinionated cats out of the bag and at every chance we get. Sometimes silently leading by example makes a louder noise.
Anyways, this is just my opinion, on not having an opinion.
On second thoughts forget everything I’ve just said, cos ultimately I’m just like you.
We know, flock all.
And that luxury is a faraway paradise right on our doorstep.
*Article provided by Joe Archer (Health & Lifestyle Correspondent).
*Main image @ITVCentral the Brian Clough Statue at speakers corner often the back drop to opinion.