In my last posting we talked about all the advice we have received regarding how best to raise Malka, our newest family member/ shih-tzu-dachshund cross.
Each piece of advice we received represented somebody’s opinion, and so I began to ask myself “what exactly is an opinion and how do we get ‘em?”
As I am obviously a deep thinker, I then asked myself “what is the difference between an opinion and a belief?”
So I visited dictionary.com com and discovered that a belief is;
Something believed; (no kidding?), an opinion or conviction; confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof.
Whereas an opinion is;
A belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
So we now know that a belief is an opinion and an opinion is a belief.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary there are approximately 250,000 words in the English language while the Economist magazine told us on November 19, 2008 that on April 29, 2009 the English language word count would surpass one million.
My guess is we only have 137 words and somewhere between 249,863 and 999,863 synonyms (synonyms for synonym include; adequation, agreement, alikeness, compatibility, conformity, correlation, correspondence, equality, evenness, exchangeability, identity, interchangeability, interchangeableness, likeness, match, par, parallel, parity) – an obviously transparent attempt to keep ESL teachers gainfully employed.
But I digress, aberrate, be diffuse, beat about the bush, circumlocute, depart, divagate, drift, excurse, get off the point, get off the subject, get sidetracked, go by way of, go off on a tangent, long way, meander, ramble, roam, swerve, turn aside, veer, wander, wander away.
Back to the earlier questions. It is interesting how our beliefs, our opinions, come to us in a very simple format. We gain some information, or perhaps something happens in our lives and, as we have discussed in previous postings, we attach meaning to this information or event. And so it now occupies a small dot on our map of the world. And as our feelings intensify, as we experience stronger and stronger feelings for the meaning we have placed on this event or this information, so we come to hold what we call a belief which now inhabits a bigger piece of our map.
A belief therefore is nothing more than the meaning we place on information coupled with the strong feelings we have for the meaning. In other words, a belief is simply something for which we have strong feelings.
It is inordinately valuable for us to understand this as we examine where our lives have taken us to this point, and correlate the results we have attained, good, bad or indifferent, to the beliefs we have about who we are, what we are capable of achieving and the degree to which our beliefs have placed and enforced limitations on our potential.
A synonym for potential is … oh forget it.
Till we read again.