Conviction: (n) a fixed or firm belief
There is a new rule. If the word “rule” sounds too stodgy for you, then call it a guideline.
If “guideline” is still too restrictive, you may consider it an insight.
If “insight” gives you the creeps, then let’s just call it an idea.
Here it is:
You are allowed, permitted and granted an opinion, as long as you’re willing to be wrong.
The very second that you—or I, for that matter—start insisting that our opinion is really a conviction held by millions and even, maybe, heralded by the heavens, we probably need to be hauled off somewhere to live in a poverty-stricken situation until humility settles into our souls.
Discussion would be no problem if we actually discussed. We don’t. We enter discussions with convictions.
Disagreements would still be fine if we were conscious of the need to evolve. But we aren’t, because our convictions arrived to us engraved in stone.
It would even be possible to argue—as long as our convictions didn’t cause us to be arrogant, feeling that we’re pleasing a political party, a science project or a deity by being stubborn.
I used to have many convictions. I used to scrunch my face up when I heard people advance their theories or share their preferences.
Whenever I did this, my ass always found my hole and created an unrighteous unity.
Over the years I have abandoned, ignored, walked away from and giggled at many of my convictions, realizing that the majority of them were hatched in the henhouse of speculation. Let’s be honest—your speculation is as good as mine, and mine is pretty worthless.
So now I listen, I get an idea of what’s going on, and from that idea I develop an inkling which I take into the discussion, only to discover that much of my inkling needs to be trimmed away.
I am not impressed with convictions.
What truly touches my heart is seeing human beings who have the mercy and grace to be wrong while still smiling.