Everyone has an opinion! In fact, most of us have multiple opinions. We have many words to describe this phenomenon: ‘viewpoint’, ‘belief’, ‘ideology’, ‘judgement’, ‘hypothesis’, ‘theory’. And naturally on the whole we have a tendency to believe that our opinions are right, which, by extension implies that those who hold different opinions are wrong which seems to me to be an unsustainable position of potential polarisation and conflict. So at the root of my belief system is a view that opinions are illusory. How could they not be if we all share the same reality but have seven billion views of it?
Writing a blog is to share my view of the world in all the dimensions available for me to explore. Inevitably this will lead to me expressing my opinions. Which would lead me to an impossible conundrum: why would I share my illusions with others whose opinions may be equally illusory? Fortunately, I have two escape routes from this apparent mental rabbit hole both of which I hope to explore in future offerings:
Principle amongst these is experience. I don’t mean a particular experience, or the accumulation of life’s experiences. It is the ‘nature of experience’ that offers an alternative route to exploring my reality which has the potential to be independent of my (or anyone’s) opinion. It is far more difficult to challenge someone’s experience than their opinions, and empathy with an experience may operate at a deeper level than mere agreement with a belief system.
My other escape route was formulated some years ago, in a different century, when I was part of an organisation that was run on the basis of consensus. For those who have not had the opportunity for such an experience, it has much to recommend it. However, it does require some prerequisites for success, amongst which are fundamental agreement on the purpose of the organisation, and deep interpersonal trust. But one characteristic of our process was that within that framework of purpose and trust we shared our views as individuals within the group. The act of sharing created a dynamic within the combined viewpoints and almost inevitably the outcome was greater than the sum of its parts.
Which has led me to the optimistic view that sharing opinions in an open, trusting environment can create a dynamic process of change where the outcome may just surprise us.
Hence my writing a blog.
But then, that’s only my opinion…