Earlier tonight, a man I know tangientally from his association with friends of mine made a statement of his opinion regarding the status of Olympic Figureskating as an actual sport. His position was that since there was no objective metric to the performance of the activity, that it does not qualify as a sport, inasmuch as ballet qualifies as a sport. My opinion is that this is nonsense, and that even if the scoring is mostly subjective, it is still a sport.
His opinion really rubbed me the wrong way, and now I think differently of the guy. Subject matter aside, that is the part that troubles me the most: that one man’s opinion puts me so off my ease that I place the person in disdain. What the hell is with that? It is his right to make statements just as much as it is my right to make statements. So why the cold chill in my blood?
I’m an arrogant bastard, as is my training. See, in my 8 years of being a bible-toting, card-carrying Arkansas Baptist youth of the Evangelist persuasion, it was within my wont to issue unto the entire world my statements of Truth and Everlasting Life (because it was Truth, and not opinion, you see), and any person who was not “Of Us” who made any statement, whether related or unrelated, regarding their perception of truth was automatically analyzed and despised. Because if you are not for us, you are obviously against us.
It is in that way that the Baptist mindset poisoned my ability to observe other people’s opinions objectively, regardless of my own point of view. And my continued failure to observe and respect without emotional fury or feeling of damaged face leaves me gnashing my teeth at my inability to grow up.
It’s my sincerest wish that I could rise above my humanity, deprogram myself of the vitriol, and cease from passing the blame for my internal behavior on a decade of poor adolescent idealism.