Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Thursday, March 31, 2016


I think this has a truth to it that is relevant to my rant.
Let me let off steam. I get annoyed at know-alls and I seemed to have encountered a few lately. These are people who will emphatically state their opinion on all sorts of subjects in a way that gives the impression that there can be no other way of thinking. I guess sometimes we all get like that. I find these days, probably because I am a bit hesitant, that people like to fill the void with their emphatic opinions. I sit there like a goldfish with my mouth gaping, saying nothing, while they continue to burble on. Underneath I am saying, "Yeah but..." "No that's a generalisation" "that's not my experience" or even under my breath, "Bullshit".  Sometimes people will tell me how to live!  "You really should get rid of that car!" "Why don't you buy a new house?" "Oh I wouldn't buy that!" or even more personal advice. I think to myself, "What right do you have to tell me what to do? I would never presume to say that sort of thing to you!" They don't know my budget, my responsibilities, my priorities, my circumstances, what my wife thinks.. etc??? I put up with it, but really feel repelled and just want to move away. That's often why I enjoy being a loner. 

When I get to feel like pontificating that way I wish some inner voice would say to me...

1. The world is not black and white.... there are often shades of grey, different circumstances and different perspectives.  Sometimes we don't like the insecurity of "grey". we would rather have black or white. "Dave... be open to grey."

2. Everybody does not experience the world in the same way.  I like coffee, she likes tea and is allowed to like tea. No amount of my saying "Coffee is the real drink" is going to change that. That is true of many things people pontificate about. Someone says "That film was rubbish" Yes that was how you experienced it but because of my experiences of life and tastes, for me it wasn't rubbish. "That car is useless." "Well no, within my budget and for the things that I want to use a car for it is ideal. It may not suit your circumstances, but for me it is fine!" "Dave own your own experience, but that's not everybody else's."

3. Who are you trying to convince by your pontification? I get to listen to a particular preacher and his style of message is often arguing against "straw men" who say different things. I actually suspect he is having some inner questioning going on.  His emphatic pontification is more him trying to make himself feel more secure in beliefs he does not want to let go of, than really face the nagging truth that maybe there is more mystery than he wants to admit.  Sometimes we are shouting at ourselves, because we would rather not face uncertainties.   

4. Is your reasoning that weak that you have to say things in such a way that no one dare question it? Or.. Why are you yelling?  There is the story of the preacher who was preparing his notes for his sermon. As he read them through he wrote in the margin, "Argument weak here... shout louder."  I often think that sometimes the stronger we say something, indicates how insecure we are about that point, but we don't want our insecurity to be seen.  Remember the man who said emphatically, "I did NOT have sex with that woman!"

I knew a man once who had some "differences and difficulties" in his life. He had been to a psychiatrist and this doctor had given him a certificate to say that he was "sane." He often used to say in debates and discussions, quite seriously, "I AM sane, I can show you a certificate that says so!" The very statement made you question the truth of it.

I have often found that the really wise are often the quietly spoken, the listeners and muses. They are the one's who see the consequences, perceive the breadth of any situation, the inconsistencies and the connections between things.  They are the ones who will say, "I wonder if.... " and put a new perspective quietly, in the form of a question. Those truly secure people, don't have to parade their security and knowledge, they just "be" and in a sense "let be".  

The Desiderata says; 
"Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself."

Anyway I seem to have had a number of "loud and aggressive persons" vexing my spirit lately and this is me letting off steam.

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