I’ve been feeling terribly lazy about writing. Nothing new there: I’m anything but regular with any sort of good habit (see: eating, exercising, sleeping, etc…). But I’ve always been opinionated and loved communicating via writing. On a closer look, I’ve been discouraged from writing, from sharing my thoughts and opinions.
I look at what I input in a I/O (input/output) system: what I input has value at a cognitive level, but is ultimately valued based on the resulting output that it informed. That affects what I read, watch, listen to, etc. Being a human in my 30s, I understand and value entertainment, the choice of doing things from a purely recreational standpoint. This is especially valuable in the case of a knowledge worker, helping relax and refocus.
Jeff Bezos once said “people who were right a lot of the time were people who often changed their minds”. Being someone who values “being right” (not saying that I am), I can relate to that concept. When I write my opinion on a matter, I’m not assuming I’m the ultimate meter of truth. I believe I am right (or I wouldn’t say it) but I’m subject to new facts and knowledge that can influence a change in opinion. I don’t see that as some sort of life changing or humbling experience, I see that as a natural process of evolution at an intellectual level.
When thinking about these concepts, it occurred to me that a lot of people are not interested in reading opinions. When reading someone’s opinions, they are looking for arguments for or against their own opinions. That’s why an opinion piece available on the Internet is like a hive of trolls! Opinions are polarized on the Internet, under a curtain of anonymity and lack of human touch, because everybody wants to be right. To experience this all you have to do is bring up social issues like gay marriage, gun control, or abortion. Neither camp is interested in or willing to change their opinions! Any sort of campaign for either side is more about rallying everyone who agree with your side, not show anyone why what you believe is factually closer to the truth than the alternative. It’s not a matter of liberals vs conservatives, religious vs non-religious: it’s a matter of my opinion vs yours, the fact that I could be wrong and you may very well be right!
To bring this full circle, that’s the irony of my writing conundrum: whereas writing feels to me like a process of growth and education, I’m faced with a culture of absolutes that is not willing to accept the fact that I am able to handle being wrong, learn from it, and move on. People who consider themselves liberals are hard-set on their non-standards; people who consider themselves conservatives are hard-set on their standards. Neither is interested in understanding the standards themselves, the original reasoning and understanding. It becomes a war of interpretations, a fight for the top, with little desire to grow and educate.
I should start writing again. I will not stop having opinions and believing that I have reasonably and logically reached them. I will continue to welcome healthy debate as long as its based on the common ground of reaching conclusions based on facts, scientific or not, that are rooted on the most basic of human conditions: “I could be wrong”.