January 17, 2014 by T. Gregory Argall
Long ago I realized an important fact of life… A vast majority of the world population is not me.
That may seem like a fairly obvious statement but it’s surprising how many people don’t understand the significance of such a situation.
Pretty much everyone but me is not me. Many of the people who are not me have different thoughts and opinions on a variety of subjects. On many topics, some of the people who aren’t me are what I call wrong. Those same people probably believe that I am wrong about the same topics. (They are, of course, wrong about that.) Yet, they have the right to be wrong or to disagree with me or have their heads up their asses or whatever the accepted term is.
A countless number of factors influence everything we believe, think, or assume about, well, everything. Every experience is difference for every person because it is viewed through the prism of previous experiences. And from experiences, opinions are formed. So it’s understandable that opinions differ. That’s what opinions are meant to do.
I am six feet, five inches tall. My wife is five feet, half an inch. (Never forget that half an inch.) We are different ages, grew up in different countries, on different continents, with different childhood influences. We like different foods, different movies, different music, book, TV shows, people.
But we also enjoy many of the same foods, movies, music, books, TV shows and people.
Because of the various differences between us, we both understand that if our world catered specifically to the needs and whims of one of us, it would be at the cost of the other. And that’s not worth it.
In high school, many many years ago, I took a course on law. On the first day of class, in order to demonstrate a principle of common law, the teacher stood in front of the class and swung his arm around continuously. He said, “I have the right to swing my arm like this. I can swing my arm like this as much as I want until I get tired or bored and decide to stop. I have that right. But my right to swing my arm ends where the tip of your nose begins.”
You can do whatever you want, unless it causes harm or damage to someone else. It’s that simple.
Somewhere in these ramblings there is a point. I’ll leave you to find it.
And try to be nice to each other.