Expressing an opinion in
company, is right up there with the all the very best being human
doesn't express an opinion.
doesn't express an opinion. A
doesn't express an opinion. Only human beings express opinions.
What I'd like to look into is this: when we
about our opinion, when we're willing to drop the defensive posture
around it (which is to say when we're willing to give up being
right about it), having an opinion isn't all that
remarkable. Really it isn't. More than that, when we
about it and drop the defensive posture around it, it's useful to
differentiate between our opinion, and
who we really are.
You'll notice more often than not, there's big trouble when we confuse
ie when we obfuscate
who we really are
with our opinion. From then on, things only get worse when we relate
to each other as our opinions, then invest in our opinion (vs
theirs) as a matter of life and
That's not to say don't have an opinion (it's interesting to notice
it's hard not to have an opinion, in fact). It's not to
say don't express an opinion either. Rather what it says / suggests is
start noticing everyone's got an opinion about
everything. Furthermore, start noticing it like the completely
mundane everyone's got a nose, everyone's got a navel, everyone's got
another part of the anatomy. And it's no big deal. Really.
Here's something to consider: isn't it true local and global conflict
is rooted in relating to ourselves and to each other as our opinions,
and not as
who we really are?
Be careful. I didn't ask "Isn't it true local and global conflict is
rooted in us having different opinions?". I asked "Isn't it true
local and global conflict is rooted in relating to ourselves and to
each other as our opinions, and not as
who we really are?".
If having an opinion isn't really all that remarkable, here's what's
truly remarkable: being able to ie having the willingness
to distinguish an opinion as merely an
opinion - in other
being willing to distinguish our opinion as not necessarily the
truth. When we're
to being right, we express our opinion as if it's "the truth". When
to being right, when we're secure in
who we really are,
when we're not
to our opinion, we express our opinion as an opinion: everyone's got
one, and it's really no big deal. Then our relationships with one
another are a function of
who we really are
(which is to say then we relate to each other as
who we really are)
and aren't solely dependent on whether or not we agree / disagree
with each others' opinions (which is to say we don't relate
to each other as if we are our opinions).
In this inquiry, I propose that being influential through the
expression of a well-constructed, well-thought-through opinion, has
some merit. But when it's the opinion which wields the influence, the
best an opinion can be is forceful but never
in the realm of doing eg in the realm of expressing an
in the realm of being eg in the realm of distinguishing an
opinion as opinion and not as "the truth". When you're open to
distinguishing an opinion as opinion, it's
who you really are
wielding the influence, rather than your opinion wielding the
influence. That's real power.
If this whole idea of distinguishing (quote unquote) opinion as
opinion has notes of
that's because it's very
The ability to distinguish things both for what they are
(and for what they aren't) as well as for the way they are
(and for the way they aren't) is the
When an opinion isn't distinguished as opinion, it's not an
opinion: it's a righteous
point of view.
When an opinion is distinguished as opinion, it's just an
opinion ... and
experience of what an opinion is and what an opinion isn't.
I grew up in the halcyon apartheid years in
when expressing any opinion contrary to the status quo could lead to
of speech was strategically curtailed by a ruthless government edict.
What we're talking about here, isn't a function of
of speech. Even though we have the right to
of speech here in these United States, being free to express an opinion
not distinguished as opinion, isn't yet an
authenticfreedomeven though we're exercising
of speech. By the same token, expressing an opinion distinguished as
opinion back then in
was an act of
of speech was ruthlessly curtailed.
Yes that is a
says) is one of the two dragons guarding the gates to the temple of
truth (the other is confusion).