Sunday, September 5, 2010

Having An Opinion...Do We Have a Right to Express It?

If you want to 'get along' with everybody, if you believe it is your life's purpose to have everyone like, admire, and adore you; constantly shower you with approval and validation, there are some very basic rules you must follow. Leaf 2
You must constantly strive to speak innocuous pleasantries so that no one can take issue with anything that you say or do. It may become necessary for you to live your life in a state of denial or avoidance ... ignoring any old or new ideas, possibilities, and beliefs, especially conclusions of any kind. It's best just to keep afloat on a cloud of nothingness and never offer up anything except agreement with everybody. Above all else...never, ever express any opinion that appears to have any emotion attached to it...and if you do offer an _opinion_ -- make sure you constantly apologize for it, adding things like: "I know I'm probably wrong, but..." or "I know you all know a lot more than I do.." -- things like that which drip with humility and meekness. Additionally It might help you to sound hesitant or uncertain. Just make sure you continuously praise everyone -- and for goodness sake, never, ever DISagree with them. Leaf 2
In some cases it might help to act cute and funny and adorable...and perhaps throw a little neediness into the mix. It also helps to debase and deride yourself upon occasion, because that gives others the chance to bolster your ego and give you a never ending supply of reassurance. Above all...never, ever do or say anything that might possibly indicate you have your own ideas, beliefs, or opinions. If you do happen to develope this ungainly aspect... make sure you are ready to retract your ideas immediately, quickly agreeing with whomever is countering you. Most importantly of all.. make sure that whatever you say agrees with the status quo, so no one can possibly assign to you or connect you to anything that might be controversial. Might you recognize anyone like this?
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If the worst criticism that is ever leveled at you is: "You are too opinionated".. congratulate yourself. You are not afraid to say what you want, when you want. It means you are utilizing your god-given right to draw from your life experience and apply what you have learned to everyday living. Some will appreciate your forthrightness...others might feel uncomfortable at having to examine their own beliefs. They may not like having to agree OR disagree with you because 'taking a stand' for what one believes in -- causes many folks a lot of squirming and discomfort. Seom will continue to play both sides of the fence. Leaf 2
I am not advocating extremism, insensitivity, or the putting down of anybody's opinions but one has to be willing to express what one believes in without apology. What we believe in today...we may change our minds about in the future. Some say: "It's better to keep your opinions to yourself"... WHY? Has political correctness taken us to the point where all we can do is be still, silent...for fear of upsetting somebody elses unstable applecart? I agree that there is a 'time and place' to express our opinions...but to not be willing to express yourself at all usually implies you don't actually believe in your opinions...or are too afraid of gaining disfavor with others. Leaf 2
I _am_ rightly accused to being 'opinionated' ... but my accusers can never accuse me of being unwilling to admit to a multiplicity of mistakes, or sitting on 'better than's,' or refusing to listen to the opinions of others. Expansion of consciousness, of light, or any kind of intelligence does not take root or grow in soil that is never dug into, disturbed, rained on, or given fertilizer. In other words, sometimes people have to give you 'shit' so that you can grow. However, the choice to remain closed down is always available. Leaf 2
One of my favorite teachers posed a question to me that I remember to this day. "OK, Betty" he said, "I know what you are've made that clear. Now can you tell me what you are FOR...and make that just as clear?" Good, huh? Protestors know what they are against... but what you resist, persists... and we must make known not just what we are against, but what we are for. As Ghandi said... "you must Peace for Peace." That was his 'opinion' ... I'm glad he was stilling to express it. Leaf 2
Photo by Lori Gurule'