"A World of Opinions" by Merwin
Opinions... Setting aside God, setting aside math, or even including them, opinions are all we have.
Opinions are what we consistently operate on. Sure we may have our "informed" opinions but when push comes to shove, it really boils down to opinion. Usually when the pushing/shoving is all over, the one left standing, is the one "who's opinion is in the right". Ask him or her about it and they will eagerly confirm this to be true.
Never mind that the loser's opinion may not have changed, nor the opinions of those that observed the verbal battle. The winner will proclaim, at the very least to him/her self, "I showed my opponent where the bear goes in the buckwheat".
Neither does it matter about the topic... any discussion/argument may be filled with valuable evidence on both sides, the side that has the most points at the end of the day wins.
But, wins what?
It is very unlikely that anything would have changed for the vanquished, and the strutting, self indulgent, bragging rights will be short lived, for the victor. So too for the by-standing, rubber neckers if any, they will likely forget their moments of entertainment as soon as they go on to the "next" entertaining thing.
It does not matter one whit about the opinion of the opponent, and therefore (if honest), "my" opinion does not matter one whit, except to "me". There may be many that might "share" a few of my opinions, but, as it may be with most humans, any departure from the particulars of that opinion of mine, are likely to disqualify my fellow opinion holders in my own eyes.
This condition may be found in every discipline, in every sector of society. Mankind looks for reasons to disqualify the opinions of his fellows. Seldom are the declarations of my acquaintances heard, without being sifted through many filters, and this is as it should be.
Through our lives we hear/read the many opinions, from various perspectives and because of our personal preferences, we take ownership of the things we like best and, we poo - poo the rest. And when we've glommed on to the things we like the most, we may even be able to "cite and quote" the sources that helped us polish our passionate position with accuracy and vigor.
We go forward thinking that if we may be able to show ourselves well read and versed that it will somehow add value to our credibility. We do this because it works, and it works well. We, by following this method, may elevate ourselves in the opinion poll of any given topic and end up making us/you/me/we the "go to" person(s) for that particular view.
Who knows... it might even end up getting us/you...etc. elected to something that would improve "our" living conditions. And that is really our goal is it not..? Self improvement..? Accent on self.
But, the things that must be understood by one and all, either now or later...
1) "There is nothing new under the sun." and, "...all is vanity." Ecclesiastes 1:9 & 1:14
2) "EVERYONE", has just another opinion, that is basically more of the same, stemmed and was formed from other sources.
And most of all...
3) There is only one absolute... The Living Torah... Jesus... The Only Begotten Son of God, His grace, His mercy.
Of course you might not share my opinion... Mankind is always looking for dis-qualifiers.
MARANATHA..! (even so, come quickly LORD..!)
Merwin aka Balaam's Nazarite Donkey (Numbers 6: & Numbers 22:)