Swimming Against The Tide

By Stuart Simons

It’s easier to go down a hill than up it

but the view is so much better at the top 

‘Henry Ward Beecher’

I’ve recently discovered that some people can’t use their minds eye to conjure images of an imagined scene, to create a movie in their mind of what they imagine is going to happen in the future. I have a ridiculous imagination and the movies that my mind plays out rage from hum drum and beige to erotic and fiery red with all of the colours of the rainbow in between. Because of these thoughts and images, I can create an opinion of things easily. If something frightens me, there is no scary film that has the ability to frighten me more than my own imagination could. If something makes me happy, Im always more elated in my minds eye. I suppose it’s a bit like a way for my body to test it’s reactions to things. It’s great and I wouldn’t want to change this for the world. It does leave me with a real unwavering self ego.I know myself, I have my opinions and I stand by them. I work hard to be true to myself and back myself as much as is possible but that’s not always easy. There are times when my opinions get challenged and I have to squirrel away back in to my man cave and have a really long hard think about whether my opinion is in fact the right one. 

Knowledge and education are the main drivers when it comes to opinions but there are also varying degrees of opinions too. Take colours for example, I love the colour Green. Its fresh and clean and makes me feel happy. Yes Green is my favourite colour. But along comes my mate Bob who loves the colour Red. He swears blind that Red is better than Green because it’s hot and fiery and makes him feel alive. Hold on, I want to feel hot and fiery and alive! But do I want it more than to feel fresh and clean? That’s the moment I squirrel myself away and have a good think about it. Fiery hot and alive, or Fresh Clean and Happy. Why can’t I have both?? Well in truth you can. But you may only discover that once you have all the knowledge of what each colour brings. Is hot and fiery more important to you then clean and fresh? 

I have massive opinions on all sorts of subjects, I can be political and like nothing more than listening to a good political debate on the radio. I can be controversial, I believe misogyny exists and is sadly absolutely prevalent in many walks of life for women but I also believe that this is creating an epidemic of misandry which is the hate of or prejudice against men and boys. Very common in female dominated professions. I think being a well mannered white straight man in this day and age is a difficult path to navigate properly. (i’m white but not straight). Never fight fire with fire. 

The point I am trying to make is that we are all human beings with the ability to consider and create opinions. That’s what makes us wonderful. We can learn from one another. We can have a very strong opinion one minute, speak to someone who highlights a point you hadn’t thought of, squirrel away and change that opinion the next. 

The saying ‘Only dead fish go with the flow’ really resonates with me. You can expect me to have very strong opinions about everything that means something to me and I will happily go against the tide if I believe it to be the best route but if you present me with an educated contrary opinion that makes sense to me, I will happily reconsider it and be open to changing my mind. The trick is to listen and learn. I love opinions and will always respect a difference of one, I will never be rude or promote hate, I will simply vehemently put my side across and then agree to disagree. We don’t live in a communist society, we are used to democracy and thrive on it. If we were all the same, it would be a very dull world indeed.