by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor
I’ve been issued a challenge. Or so it seems. I recently had someone suggest to me that I embrace my intelligence and draw conclusions about the paranormal and spiritual.
The gist of the challenge seemed to be this – the only way that I could embrace my intelligence was if I tumbled off of the fence and became a full on disbeliever.
So here’s my question. Is belief or disbelief any more of an intelligent position than a “wait and see until all of the data is in” attitude?
It’s not like I am a neophyte to all things paranormal and spiritual. I’ve been thinking about this stuff for a certain number of years. I was that annoying neighborhood three-year-old always following people around asking, “Why…..?” “How……?” “Who…..?”
I was a real budding Barbara Walters. Only people cried when I interviewed them for a very different reason. They wanted me to go away.
Not much has changed since then. Maybe the questions are slightly more sophisticated than when I was three; but, on a recent outing I unintentionally had a claimed psychic medium doing everything she could to get away from me just because she felt that I was questioning her “abilities”. I wasn’t. I was merely asking questions. But it always makes me wonder – if you aren’t willing to answer basic questions like, “how do you get your messages?” and “could you describe what you are experiencing right now a little further?” – are you trying to hide something?
Shoot – I’ve wandered off point. And my point today is brilliant, I promise.
Sitting on the fence.
I’ve never felt that my position on the fence was an unintelligent one. I think that in asking questions and being open to the answers, I might just learn something I didn’t know before.
It’s not like I am without opinions. Ask my husband. He’ll tell you. I have ‘em by the boatload. If I were you, I’d avoid a political discussion with me, for instance. It’s not that I’ll shove my opinion down your throat. I’ll state it once and then ask you a zillion questions about yours just to see where your opinion came from and how firmly you hold it.
I have opinions about all sorts of stuff. Health care, the way we should eat, how and why we’ve evolved as a species, social issues such as abortion and gay marriage, private philanthropy, the role of government in our lives. Oh yeah – I am just a bubbling cesspool of opinions that probably nobody wants to hear.
If you ask me, I’ll share them. Just don’t expect me to get into a loud debate where I try to shove my opinions down your throat. I am not one of those folks. You know the ones….
YOU WILL RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH!
I don’t believe that adds to the discourse. Nor do I learn anything new that way. I will share an opinion if asked (or sometimes when I’m not asked), but then I’ll sit back and listen to yours. And I’ll ask questions. A lot of them. Because I want to know what makes you tick. I want to know how you arrived your conclusions. What are your supporting facts? What other conclusions did you consider? Why did you set those aside in favor of the one you now hold? Is it a matter of belief or did you arrive in some logical and factual fashion? How firmly held is your position? What do you think of conclusions other than the ones that you hold?
On and on it will go. I’m not judging you. I’m just asking. Because it makes me think. And it makes you think. Frankly, there’s just not enough thinkin’ that goes on in the world.
Every day you can turn on talk radio anywhere in the country and hear people spouting opinions. Most of those opinions are not well-considered. A lot of times, they are merely spouting the opinions of the pundits they’ve heard elsewhere. They don’t know why they have their opinions. They heard it. It sounded good. They went with it.
I can’t do that. I need to think it all through carefully. I need to hear other ideas and other opinions. I need to see supporting data. And believe it or not, I really do care about what you think. I love the inner workings of the minds of other people. Thought processes are endlessly fascinating to me. And very seldom do I wind up judging someone based on their opinions. I’d be lying if I said, “never”. There are some people who are idiots. Not because of the opinions they hold, but because they hold no opinions that are their own. You know the people I mean.
Still, I think that I can learn something from just about anyone. Just because I’ve arrived at a conclusion that is different than yours doesn’t mean that I am any better than you. No hubris here. If I ask questions, you can be certain that I want to hear the answer. Otherwise, I won’t ask.
The world is full of people who think that you should feel as they do. It is full of people who think that they have the answers and they are more than happy to give their answers to you. Me? I am full of questions. It is your life and you are walking your path. How unique would your journey be if I told you how to think and what to believe? If you’re looking for someone to give you answers, then read a self help book. Listen to talk radio. Hug a pundit. But, if you’re looking for your own answers that make sense to you, then start asking questions. Or, if you prefer, let me ask them.