A Man of Answers
My father was a man of answers.
It didn't matter what the question, he had the answer. And we (especially his family) dare not question his judgment. And, of course, we didn't.
I lie. I questioned it all the time. I had a miserable childhood.
My father never asked a question. That would show lack of complete knowledge. He would research a subject of interest until he had the headlines, close the book, and when the subject came up, he would quote the headline as fact.
"What an intelligent man," I would hear. But I knew the truth. But of course, never spoke it.
Don't get me wrong. My father was an intelligent man. Very much so. The problem lay in the fact that we (his family, at least me for sure) could not separate his Wisdom from his Bull Headedness.
Nor was I allowed to question any point which he spoke or commanded. His response was, "When I jump, you holler!"
A clever quip, had it been meant to be such.
One example, to which my brother likes to refer; once, when my brother was in school he learned that water can't be compressed. To which my father's response was; "I can. I'd just put in a big vise and.....!"
There was nothing my father couldn't do. Just ask him.
I inherited that trait. I doubt that I got it from my father's genes, but rather from association and subjugation. Which, very possibly, is where he acquired it to pass along to me.
So, most of my life, and until this day, I find myself "Having to be right."
Not, as I suppose, for the same reasons as my father. He was a small but powerful man.
I'm a wimp. Certainly by comparison.
No, my reasons for having to be right, or, more precisely, not be wrong; is that I fear rejection and abandonment if I expose any flaw. And I had learned that being wrong was a huge flaw.
Now, growing up, I didn't know any of this. I only knew that I was always wrong; even when I repeated exactly what someone (especially my father) had said.
But how could I have possibly ever been right, when I was around someone who could never be wrong?
And being a wimp, I believed that everyone else was right, and that I was in the wrong.
So, I learned to question every little thing I did or thought.
This questioning of myself was hard on a growing lad. And not really any easier on a grown man. But, in old age, it has blessed me with certain insights.
I thought I was different from everyone else, inferior, worthless in fact.
That isn't true. Part of it at least.
In my investigation of myself, I found that I wasn't different, I was the same as everyone else. And that, contrary to popular belief, both religiously and secularly, we are all worthless.
That sounds degrading, I know. But that's not so at all.
If we were all superior, as we are taught to believe, then we are all the same. Only, as being superior beings, there is competition as to who is more superior.
Contrarily, If we are all worthless then there is none of that competition. That is, of course, unless you desire to prove yourself more worthless than your neighbor. Which probably wouldn't be too hard a task.
This is not a new concept, it's only that I am just learning it, and the depths of it. Also, its application.
In fact, the concept is thousands of years old. It has been taught by Oriental Philosophers and Monks from, I suppose, the beginning.
And if one really studied the Bible, they would see that it is what Jesus and the Apostles were teaching.
Worthlessness is freeing.
Being right has it's burdens. Great burdens, in fact.
Having no opinion is light. It carriers with it no obligation to prove anything.
Nor does it require giving evidence, nor justification, nor excuses when evidence seems to point against your view.
So, if I have learned all this, why aren't I smart enough to practice what I preach? Why would I have a web site called "My Opinion" when I know that having no opinion is the right way to go?
First, a story. Once a Psychologist said to me, "You know your problem? You think you're always right."
"Of course I think I'm right," I replied hotly. "If I thought I was wrong, then I would change my mind, and I would still think I'm right. Don't you think you're right?"
Here the Psychologist had been taught that "thinking you're right" is a problem that some people have. He hadn't stopped long enough to realize that, if it is a problem, it is one most people have - including himself.
However, he was wrong in the first place. I didn't think I was right. I thought I was wrong, but had to be seen as right to cover up my insecurity.
Sound like anyone we know?
So, why the web site?
After a lifetime of believing that I am always wrong, but having to be right in the eyes of others, I have learned certain things.
Mainly, that there is no right. Just opinions.
And, as long as a person only has an opinion on any given matter, than he/she is not placing their ego on the line. If it's opposed, then the opposing view is just another opinion.
All parties can set the matter at rest as just a matter of opinion. Agree to disagree.
So this is the reason for this web site. To express a lot of opinions. Show a few things that I have learned -- at least a few that has worked thus far for me, and to provide a little humor into all that is seen as serious matters of debate.
And to share the importance of not being right, that is, to be stuck with some answer, but rather to leave the door open by only having questions.
This is not a new concept either. Read the writings of Socrates, and even God.