Friday, August 21, 2009

I'm just not writing much these days.

I have a close friend who admitted to me the other day that she is critical. I had actually specifically telephoned her because I knew she was, and wanted her opinion of something that was troubling me. She of course told me exactly what I expected to hear, that yes there was something not quite right about such and such and she couldn’t quite nail it but she really felt definitely something was really off. That’s when she said, “You know, I am pretty critical,” and I said, “You’re right, and I’m cynical.” Which is true, because I am, about almost everything.

But that is beside the point, which is that (I’m inserting a qualifier here: generally speaking) we all too easily jump to conclusions and then latch on to any other opinion that remotely agrees as a way to support whatever we concluded. There’s some catch phrase… "Like minds think alike? No, that’s not it. Birds of a feather flock together? You know, the group think thing? It’s easier to agree than to disagree. For, to disagree successfully (not necessarily proving yourself right or being the loudest or most assertive, but simply stating your position well) you must know what you are talking about. You must have questioned, listened to and examined different points of view, digested the information, honestly considered how you feel about it, and not in comparison to others or by identifying with the opinions of others or whoever has the strongest voice, but really truly, based on your best efforts to understand, what is your opinion and why. That’s just the head part. There’s also your heart and your gut… your natural intuitive instinct… all these things come into play. This is really too much work for most to bother with.

It’s easier to agree, or to be loud in your disagreement, or be a tape recorder for what someone else said that sounded good enough to you, or close to whatever is the popular “think” for whatever group you identify with.

So maybe being a bit cynical isn’t so bad after all. I mean, I’m not really negative, but I am usually the last person to jump on the bandwagon. On the flip side, I’ve missed some great rides.