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Wanna End War? Lose Your Opinion.

February 11, 20244 min read

Ever hear this one? 

A@#holes and opinions: everybody's got one.. and they all stink. ~Anonymous

Crass as it may be, there is truth to this americana blue-collar adage of yore.
We've all got 'em--good, bad and ugly. But do our opinions really serve us?

There is a Chinese proverb that goes something like this…

A farmer and his son had a beloved stallion who helped the family earn a living. One day, the horse ran away and their neighbors exclaimed, “Your horse ran away, what terrible luck!” (Opinion)

The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

A few days later, the horse returned home, leading a few wild mares back to the farm as well. The neighbors shouted out, “Your horse has returned, and brought several horses home with him. What great luck!” (Opinion - you get the point)

#opinion #endwar #peace #unity #collaboration

The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

Later that week, the farmer’s son was trying to break one of the mares and she threw him to the ground, breaking his leg. The villagers cried, “Your son broke his leg, what terrible luck!” (You get it.)

The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

A few weeks later, soldiers from the national army marched through town, recruiting all the able-bodied boys for the army. They did not take the farmer’s son, still recovering from his injury. Friends shouted, “Your boy is spared, what tremendous luck!”

To which the farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

See how easy it is to slip into opinionating?
We do it all the time.

It makes me think of Star Wars. 

Remember how we all thought Darth Vader was the bad guy for all that time--opinion--but in the end, he's the one who wound up killing the really bad guy, the Emperor? 

One might opine that Vader was a really bad guy, right? If not for ol' Vader, those rebels wouldn't have mobilized and a bunch of other stuff might not have happened, which ultimately restored balance to the galaxy. True.

And there were a bunch of folks who either knew or knew about Vader--knew he was a bad guy--had their opinions about him, yet did nothing.

See, opinions are sort of like hope, in that they give the false sense that we're doing something about it, when in fact we're doing nothing. Really. Nothing at all. Another thing is, opinions are usually about things that are either 1) none of our business or, 2) outside our circle of influence. (see: You Matter)

In Star Wars, the rebels didn't have time for opinions. There was work to be done, and there was nothing in them that could resist taking the actions they took--actions which needed to be taken by them, in that dire time. 

They certainly didn't sit around and indulge what they thought about the situation at hand. Their opinions, if they had them, were mute and would have likely hampered right and timely action.

There's another important point that surfaces here: the rebels weren't bothering with contemplations about things that had nothing to do with them. They were focused on what was theirs to take care of, and nothing else.

Imagine if everyone, everywhere just let things that were none of their business be what they are, rather than getting emotionally involved about things like how so-n-so dresses, or who's sleeping with whom or what your neighbor calls God.

Can you imagine how much energy it would save us all? All that wasted energy would get directed way more creatively.

How so? Opinions are generally negative in nature and make us feel grumpy because of it. If we weren't all so grumpy, the energy we had available would get directed creatively. 

Just a hunch.

But if my hunch were right, imagine all the misunderstandings that wouldn't happen, all of the resulting tiffs, arguments, fights or outright wars that would be avoided... all if we relinquished one simple "right".

It's true: you do have a right to your opinions.

I'm just curious, how much is your right costing you? How much of your creativity is it costing the world?

What do you think?

I want to hear your stories about how an opinion got you or someone you know into a pinch, or made a tough situation worse.

Did that opinion result in creative action? What did it result in?

Share your stories in the comment section below.

See ya next time.

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