I’ve found when I ask for definitions to be applied to words, and meaning applied to assertions, that I’m “mean”. At least that is the accusation. And, I think I’m okay with it.
Apparently none of us, or at least not the majority, want to be held accountable for anything… ever. It seems we wish to live in a world where everything means whatever we want it to, when we want it to. I guess life is easier when it revolves around us and how we feel about it, not necessarily what it is.
Fine. I’ve been known to indulge in a little “checking out” from time to time. I have also spun bad situations into goods one even though I know they were still bad, but this is an epidemic.
This self-centered approach to everything permeates our society and we are seeing the results. We demonstrate our unwillingness to deal with reality by exhibiting this type of behaviour. We also protect ourselves from judgement by being purposefully vague.
We simply do not want to think about what we think. (Intellectual laziness is… well… lazy. And easy.)
Instead we want to have others praise us for the “achievement” of having an opinion.
We expect others to be so impressed by this accomplishment that we demand they overlook any deficit of substance which might elevate the opinion to being worthy of consideration.
Without fail the speaker will attempt to stop a search for meaning with one of the following:
“Who are you to judge?” (Response: Who would you prefer?) “That’s just my opinion.” (Response: Yes… it is just an opinion.) “We’ll have to agree to disagree.” (Response: I think we should agree to agree to disagree, then agree then not. To Infinity… na, na, na. This one is so childish is hurts. You can recognize your difference in opinion, but agreeing to it is a completely different position. “I think Ax murdering your family is bad.” – “Well I think we should just agree to disagree.” Hmmm…)
All I have ever asked is that each of us, as individuals, Make an Effort to understand why we think what we think. This effort should be ongoing throughout our life.
This blog has never been about agreement, conversion or solving the worlds problems… it has been about meaning. What are we, our leaders and those we elevate to positions of authority actually saying… if anything.
So… I’m mean. I’m very, very mean. If that’s the definition, then I will be proudly mean in all things.
To me, an opinion should resemble a Fine Bourbon. It is the difference between meaning and meanness.
A Fine Bourbon does not appear before us because we wish it so. It is born of education, consideration, reason, rational, trial and error, all repeatedly applied to the fine materials nature provides. Without context it is harsh and burns the novice mouth, very mean indeed. Appreciation comes with experience and knowledge. With meaning, leading to understanding, it becomes a demonstration of conceptual brilliance. (And, it makes everyone around you more tolerable.)