The half-life of the less-than-opinionatedSome of us are too willing to share our opinions. Others are most reluctant.
By: Bernie Hughes, Superior Telegram
Some of us are too willing to share our opinions. Others are most reluctant.
Lucky ones, like me, have the opportunity to do so regularly. Hopefully, I remain within the bounds of proper etiquette and limit invectives or outrageous declarations. I’ve attempted to do so.
On the other hand, are you completely satisfied with folks who never take a stand?
They, seemingly, can always see evidence for both sides of an issue or they don’t wish to take the risk of entering into controversy. You never really know which side of the issue they believe is the better position, the more correct position. I believe there are exceptions, of course, when individuals feel circumstantially unable, that it would be financially unwise for them to speak.
This was brought to mind for me many years ago as a small community school superintendent. School Board members, who were also small business operators sometimes felt their business could be negatively impacted if they spoke out loud and clear on certain controversial issues.
On the other extreme at times, I felt this refusal to take a position could be classified as moral default or paralysis. Others might rate it as filleted morality or gutless goodness. More excuses than Carter has pills.
I take the position that in a democracy, we should speak out when we truly believe that we know something about an issue. When we do, rationally at least in our own opinion, see one side having a more logical position, why keep mum in a discussion as an individual or in a small group discussion?
We all know some individuals who consider themselves exceptional in their opinions — their mind is made up and they don’t even want to listen to the other side.
I consider this immaturity on their part and immaturity on my part if I continue the discussion with them.
I’ve had a guiding light in my long life of dealing with controversial issues. I’ve been saving this poem, many years, by Robert D. Abrahams that he entitled, “The Half Alive:”
The half alive, the half alive,
they seem to live, they seem to thrive
they fight for causes (or nearly fight)
with rarely more than half their might.
they kiss in corners, fearing love,
they swear half oaths by gods above
but even their gods are only demi
and their enthusiams semi.
so shun the half alive in fear,
they’ll mourn for you with half a tear,
all is ask for you or me
is either to be or not to be.
One of my favorite controversial topics is the immoral growing spread of wealth in our nation.
I’d like to close with a quote I saved from Julian Huxley: “The human race, in fact, is surrounded by a large area of unrealized possibilities, a challenge to the spirit of exploration. Thanks to science, the underprivileged are coming to believe that no one needs to be underfed or chronically diseased or deprived of the benefits of its technical and practical applications.”
We know what would be the right thing to do. We should do the right thing.