Opinionated — a coping skill

You are unconscious of what you don’t know, so you believe in opinions. I am pleased with the epiphany, that this is why children frighten us; in the way they question our deepest convictions with such unnerving curiosity — wide eyed they ask, “Why’s the sky blue?”, and you realize you have lived twenty years without knowing yourself. 

Sadly, this is the condition of the tired and eerie creature named adult (or any human being for that matter); he puts the sugar in his cup first before the boiling water, sends his children to school to learn things he has long forgotten nor care to revise, and watches reality shows at the dismissal of his only and unforgiving life.

The journey for answers to him is unbearable — a test of character he fears may disillusion his very sense of self. In fact, he despises it so much so that he exchanges misconceptions for truth: Buddha, my dear friends, was not obese; medieval Europeans never believed the Earth was flat (to the contrary), and Napoleon Bonaparte was not short. This, of course, is but a euphemism for our inability to ‘think’ — in the truest sense of the word.

Evolutionary science would have it, that we form opinions in order to direct most of our attention towards more demanding tasks. In fact, the Nobel Memorial Prize recipient Daniel Kahneman defines this rather simply, that there two types of thinking. Type (1) is the fast and unconscious form — you know, how you tie your shoelaces without much thought of it. Type (2) is of a slower and more conscious form.

We have opinions then, to flee from the light of conscious thinking; even if it means forming a biased perception of someone else, or anything else for that matter. What scares you the most? — the demand of time and effort needed to find truth or truth himself? 

It goes without saying, that much of our thoughts are but opinions — till proven otherwise. Unfortunate, it stands to seem, that the vast immemorial of the opinions we have of ourselves are of a negative connotation, and given enough time — these solidify into beliefs.

I, therefore, urge you to start thinking.

Author: Tyrone Takawira


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