Statue in Bonaventure Cemetery; Savannah GA
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“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” - John Wooden
“Pick your battles carefully.” - Old adage
Several times lately I have been asked for my opinion on something by people who have an axe to grind. One situation was someone who wanted me to agree that a certain group of people were not qualified to do a specific job. In the other case, a man wanted me to agree that if everyone were able to openly carry firearms we would be better off. These are far from the only times I have been asked for my opinion on issues that I have no control over in my life. But what has changed is my attitude.
You see, I don’t feel that I have to have the answer or need to have an opinion on things anymore. Part of learning to accept the things you cannot change is learning that most things in life fall into this category. Part of learning anything is the growing awareness that learning itself is the progressive discovery of our own ignorance. And yet so often we feel we have to have an answer – that we cannot say we don’t have an opinion or that we don’t know without appearing dull or simple.
But why do we have to have an opinion? And even if we have one, why do we need to feel obligated to share it with someone else? In both of these cases I was able to state that I really didn’t have an opinion on the issue, and didn’t care to form one. Amazingly, both people dropped the topic. I am not saying that there won’t be those people who consider our stating we don’t have an opinion as their cue to get on the bully pulpit, but I am saying that it is surprising how seldom we have to voice one at all. It sure makes life a lot easier. We don’t have to convince or argue our point, we don’t have to sort through a lot of other folk’s notions on things that are irrelevant to what we are supposed to be doing anyway, and it saves an awful lot of wasted words.
And when it comes to trying to convince anyone of anything, the old saying “One convinced against their will is of the same opinion still” becomes relevant. It might well save us a heated conversation or a headache brought on by wracking our brain over things that don’t affect us right now anyway.
Today, may I be prudent.
Have a great Tuesday !!
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