To Be Right Or To Be Happy...

Awareness And Choices

Having an untamed point of view handicaps our choices in life. We make so much of this thing we call our opinion. It is the senior member of our personal troupe, the one we allow to call all the shots. Yet, I would venture to say that most people do not even know where their opinions originate.

In our early lives we spend a significant amount of time in resistance. We are just doing what we can to hold our own against those in authority. Much of what they are trying to do, such as keep us safe and teach us values, is lost to rebellion when we are young. Many of our opinions from this time in our lives are born from fear. We learn to make countless of our choices out of the avoidance of the consequences. I would say in some cases that humans cultivate enough fear as to render themselves powerless to make needed changes in their lives. It has often occurred to me that much of the world makes it their highest goal to avoid their greatest fear.

I don't want to sound arrogant in saying this, but it appears to me that many of the people I interact with are not home, meaning they are just commiting their opinions to the stimuli and have not yet engaged their mind at all. I do not intend to be critical of them, I am merely making an observation. A while back, I was at a party of several relatively close friends. I was talking with one of these friends and was listening intently to what they were saying. My replies were similar in nature to the comments the other person made. I was basicly in agreement and was just affirming my concurrence of their statements. Each time I would reply to what they had just said, they would say something like, "Well, that is where you and I differ." I would stand there listening for the next defense of their subject, nodding my head in affirmation to see if they noticed. Then I would paraphrase, back to them, what they had just uttered and they would again challenge my reply. This went on for quite some time. I am a student of human behavior and I get great satisfaction from observing people. I have learned not to take my opinions too seriously, so it did not phase me that they were not listening, but it did give me a chuckle inside while this was going on between us.

I have shared times with many friends and acquaintances talking about current affairs and domestic issues. A few of them will take the opposite side of the conversation no matter what the subject is. I watch them while I am talking and I can see by the expression on their faces that they are looking for their rebuttal as I speak. I have tried agreeing with their counter and had them take yet another tack in the next sentence. What is it about our opinions that we are so eager to defend? No opinion is factual. It may be based on facts, but by virtue of the nature of opinions they cannot be factual. Dictionary.com defines opinion as, "A belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty." Well, I have to tell you how hard I laughed after reading this. And, it went on for a considerable amount of time.

I wrote an article recently where an unidentified person made a comment on my subject. The title of the article is "America Under Siege - The Enemy Among Us". In it, I stated my point of view on the subject of the economic inequities between taxes for the super rich mega corporations and the tax burden on the average citizen. I added some statistics to my article to make my point. This anonymous person said that while they themselves believe in liberty, my opinions represent that I believe in slavery and tyranny. I had made the point, in my article that mega corporations, making literally billions of dollars in profits each year should pay their share of income taxes and could lessen the financial burden of their customers by charging slightly less for their goods or services. An example was that Exxon Mobil had adjusted gross income (income after expenses) in 2010 of 52.959 billion dollars ($52,959,000,000.00), and I was asking if they might be able to lower the price of gasoline by 50 cents per gallon. To this sn53anon said, "You want a government who will steal, rob, plunder, and enslave a portion of the populace on your behalf. Your argument is immoral." They finished off their comment wth, "And those differences are at the very heart of this battle between good (my side) and evil (your side) playing itself out in Washington D.C. today."

It took me by surprise that this person was so offended by my opinions. I really do not expect people to agree with me, especially on political subjects, but this seemed to be more than just disagreement. I thought about what the person said before I wrote a response. But after a few minutes I wrote, "I think the only thing you and I agree on is that we both have the right to say what we think." In earlier times in my life I would have loved to blast this person with words, because I too thought my opinion was so important, but I have since come to realize that when we choose our opinion over the experience, what we forfeit is the potential for happiness.

That said, I can still hear my Father's voice in my head saying, "Place the used razor blades in the slot in the back of the medicine cabinet not on the shelf." When I replied, "But Daddy, you leave them on the shelf, why can't I?" His reply, "Because we are not talking about me, we are talking about you." And that dear readers is how I learned abstract thinking.

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Comments 12 comments

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

Up and awesome. You are so correct, everyone has opinions. Some are based on facts, and would be considered good opinions. Others are based on lies and fiction, and would be considered bad opinions. Some opinions have been passed down from generation to generation, and are a mixture of good and bad opinions.

The smart individual is one that is willing to change an opinion when presented with new facts proving his old opinion to be wrong. Sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesn't.

Great hub.


CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado Author

Wow, your comment was awesome! Thank you so much for reading and commenting on the article. Good to see you, again.

Blessings...


Jillian Barclay profile image

Jillian Barclay 5 years ago from California, USA

Please do not talk to me about sn53anon. I could write an article. The man (assumption), well, suffice it to say he will no longer have his comments appear after my articles.

Think a lot of our opinions are formed in childhood, but old poolman is right, an intelligent person can change their opinions when faced with new facts.

Funny commentary on your conversations! I enjoyed it and have noticed the same things myself!


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

This is a very well written hub. I regularly write about how people mistake belief for truth and you explain it very well here. There is one area however where I feel you yourself have fallen prey and that is in your comments about how you viewed the comments of sn53anon on the hub you link to. I included a video in my latest hub explaining how people fantasise about what they imagine people mean by what they write. You are creating in your own mind what you imagine he/she is feeling about what you have written. How can you know that he is offended by what you say? This is just an observation and we all fall for this illusion that create so I too am not above falling into this trap. You write from the heart and your motives are pure and that is what stands out. Thank you.


CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado Author

Dear Jillian, old poolman is right. It only amazes me how many really intelligent people in my group of acquaintances and friends will choose to be right instead of happy. Indeed, how many will argue their point to the offense of those who 'did' like them.

That is why I found so very much humor in the definition of opinion. Our opinions truly are the smoke and mirrors of our interactions with others. Fortunately for me, I love it no matter how it is. I even love sn53anon for standing out in such a way that I was able to make an example of him/her for this article.

When I was younger I had a very aggressive temper and would say hurtful things that were irrelevant to the situation, just as sn53anon did. But at a point in my life I declared that I am happy for all time and now I can only smile when someone whips themselves into a froth.

Thank you dear friend. I sincerely appreciate you and love your comment.

Blessings...


CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado Author

Thank you SW, I always appreciate your wise counsel. What I write is, of course, from what I feel myself. I read your article you mentioned and found the information very useful. I think of myself as being fairly insightful but I, too, have my blind spots. Thank you for taking the time to read what I write and thank you for the support you add to my articles through your thoughtful comments.

Blessings...


amillar profile image

amillar 5 years ago from Scotland, UK

'Don't do as I do, do as I say', is another way to put what your Father was saying. Of course, you might've replied. "Who says?"

'The Right Honourable Gentleman is right when he says, blah-de-blah-de-blah." UK politicians speak that all the time. I think they've went to the same public school (here in the UK), and they're taught to speak as if their opinion is irrefutable.

I shout at the telly, "Who says he's right? I didn't say you could say he's right!" (We can all play that game.)


CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado Author

amillar, it seems that somehow, politicians worldwide have a rogue gene which causes them to think they are more important than anyone else and what comes with self-importance is being so very deadly right about their opinions. There is not a nation on earth who will not kill to protect their leaders' opinions. Scary but true.

Thank you so much for this insightful comment. Thank you also for joining the discussion on many of my hubs. It always brings a smile to my face to see you.

Blessings...


Fay Paxton 5 years ago

Excellent hub Perfection. I like that people have different opinions...it is in that exchange that we learn and grow. But, I do wish people knew how to make a distinction between facts and feelings.

up/awesome


CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado Author

Me too, Fay. So much of humanity's interest is being wasted in fighting each other over our opinions. Thank you so much for reading my articles and commenting. You are a wonderful person and I so appreciate your time.

Blessings...


Ashantina profile image

Ashantina 5 years ago

I couldn't help smiling as I was reading your observations... I've been in that situation a few times and conclude that some people just love the sound of their own voice :)

It takes a great deal of maturity, clarity and freedom to be open to receive others opinions and to also let go of our own opinions when/if......


CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado Author

Thank you for this comment, Ashantina. It really does take maturity to just stand quietly and allow others to go on.

I always appreciate your insights and thank you very much for taking the time to read my hubs.

Blessings, Ashantina...

Lela

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