Opinions: Open Hand or Clenched Fist

We all yearn to share our opinions with other people. Because of this I say, toss your opinions out there like Dr. Fauci will toss out the first pitch at the National’s season opener. Lay out your opinions like a yoga mat in a drenched hot yoga studio. You don’t remember what his studio is? Ok, a studio is a place where people come together and…Nevermind what a studio is, we are talking about opinions. Whatever space you occupy, speak, speak, speak your opinions freely. Share them…please do. 

We, who express ourselves (that includes you), toss our opinions out there in order to get what we want and need. We get things our way by uncaging our opinions. Opine to the world whatever fills your heart to say with courage and bravery. Yeah, I don’t know what that last sentence means either but it sounds good, at least to me. What I mean to say is let your opinion see daylight. 

An opinion is just someone’s feelings and ideas about a topic. It’s human to have an opinion; it’s human to have unique perspectives; it’s nonhuman to box them up. Boxing up our ideas is like behaving like a bot. We don’t want to act like a bot do we? Oh wait, if a bot is reading this right now please take no offense. Hello and I hope you are well and please do comment, like, and share this content. 

What if your opinions shift and change? Don’t sweat it. Opinions are like the wind they flit about hither and thither. I’ve wanted to use that expression for a while. When our opinions shift and change we are simply sharpening the knife, learning about and bettering ourselves.  After all, some of your opinions, but certainly not mine, need reshaping and retooling (ok, especially mine). Of course, our opinions may shift with situations. Our hand remains open with these dear opinions, so open, we can hold one opinion on day one, the opposite opinion on day two, and both the first opinion and second opinion at the same time on day three. That’s right. We can live with an open hand with our opinions and we don’t care if you call us wishy washy. 

We close the hand of our opinions wherever we find dogmatism. Every opinion we hold about every topic we question, at least for a few moments, and at least as long as our strength holds. Once it is bludgeoned by our questions, we look lovingly at it. If its eye is not too swollen from our flurry of questions, we hold it, a least for a time, with a clenched fist.   

Like I wrote earlier, we can hold two opposing opinions at the same time. Watch me do it now. While holding some opinions with an open hand there are other opinions to hold with a clenched fist. While developing the opinion, we hold our beliefs with an open hand. But after holding the opinion to a certain standard, we clench our fist. 

Here are some criteria for knowing when to clench your fist on an opinion:  

  1. Clench all opinions which our senses support. Practice the scientific method in everyday life. Question, hypothesize, experiment, and draw a conclusion / form an opinion. 
  2. Do your own research and hold to our opinions based upon our work. Read as often as we can. 
  3. Hold opinions based upon sound logic. Study logical fallacies.
  4. Contractual agreements made with loved ones, like marriage.   
  5. Commitment to parent our children until death do us part. 

We are responsible to grow in self knowledge so we can know which opinions we should hold with an open hand and which to hold with a clenched fist. Opinion formulation is a skill and working to improve it can help our lives. The same work we take to deconstruct other’s opinions we can use to deconstruct our own. The skill of opinion formulation requires daily practice. As we record our ideas on audio, on video, or a page we can see the thinking patterns and conditioned emotional responses we have for specific topics. As a result of our own self study, our opinions receive refinement. It takes diligent effort but we have the power and the abilities to grow in opinion formulation so that we know what opinions to hold with an open hand and which to hold in a clenched fist. As we improve our skill in formulating opinions our emotional life will stabilize, our thought world will strengthen, and we will move in and out of spaces knowing we have equipped ourselves to skillfully and artfully know which opinions to hold with an open hand and which to hold with a clenched fist.

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