|"You're so hard-headed
and egotistic. You must be a politician."
No, I'm no politician."
you got to be a lawyer or a college professor or the like."
I've been to college, but I'm not a teacher or a
come on then; give it up. I know you ain't no
cabbie or truck driver."
I'm a preacher."
days gone by, and probably still yet in some circles, experts on any
subject were easy to find. Men learned all about politics, the stock
market, current events, and the neighborhood gossip from their barber
or the kid selling newspapers on the street corner. Women were a little
more selective in their search for factual information; they consulted
their hairdresser, the butcher or the corner grocer.
experts tend to be a more specialized, possessing a great deal of
knowledge in a single field of interest. This on the surface seems like
a good idea, and certainly one that would cause information to be more
accurate and factual. However, time has not proven this to necessarily
be the case.
instance: what is the likelihood of receiving honest and accurate
answers to a question on politics from a politician? Wouldn't you be
more inclined to rely on your barber or the kid selling newspapers for
how about learning the value and condition of the used car being touted
by the used car salesman? Again, ask the kid selling newspapers.
been many a stock broker who has grown rich giving financial advice,
while those following his expert advice went bottoms-up.
who would you trust most to give you an accurate weather forecast? your
aged aunt with the arthritic elbow that acts up when the climate
changes, the farmer who reads the sky for his living, or the weatherman
with all his multimillion dollar instruments? Aunt Martha is almost
never wrong; the weatherman is almost never right.
any field of endeavor the result is the same: experts battling to the
death to be the one recognized as "right," even though they change
their expert opinion more frequently then Aunt Martha changes her socks.
we continually lend our ear to the "Expert" of the day, trusting in his
or her ping-pong opinion even when we know full-well the doubtful
chance of that opinion being reasonable or based on logic or facts.
first became aware of the fallacy of listening to "Experts" when I
studied music at the age of 65. I won't give a detailed account of the
incident here as I have already done so in the Abstract
Musician. Suffice it to say that I
discovered a multitude of different forms and methods of study; all
claiming to be the "One and Only."
course, each and every teacher and student (with perhaps an exception
or two) firmly and honestly believes their's to be the "right" one.
Yet, they all are definitely "wrong" for me, and had confused me to
tears all these years of my musically uneventful life.
I add to my repertoire of experience the tragic errors I encountered
with the Psychiatric field; and consider the ever-expanding death tole
encountered in modern hospitals, the National Debt, Global Warming, and
the inadequate and often inept advice I received from mother - I take
pause to reconsider "Expert Advice," and I head for the kid selling
newspapers on the street corner for my education.
was a time (there must have been) when
information and fact went hand-in-hand. Perhaps in ancient days when
things were simple and there was very little to know or learn a person
could receive accurate information. However, I tend to doubt it,
because even then, the simplest of times, there must have been the
"Expert" con man ready and anxious to sell us the Brooklyn Bridge.
why not? It has been pretty well demonstrated that it is our nature to
elbow our way to the front of the line in order to get first dibs on
the Brooklyn Bridge. And when we see we have been "took," we elbow our
way to the front of the next line where yet another
bridge is being sold.
Finances, Psychology, Medicine, Weather and Used Cars (and Bridges) are
not the only areas where people love to be taken for a ride (only to
complain later). No indeed. In fact these count low on the scale of
effective ways to pry money from the Masses and solicit Respect from
has long been known that Religion is where the
money and the prestige lies. If you doubt this, take a look at the
Cystine Chapel or the Crystal Cathedral. And although not as ornate,
consider how multimillion dollar churches embracing more loose-wallet
people than the Superbowl are springing up across the country like
boils on Job.
it is not necessary to have a large building to attract people with
more money than reasoning. Consider the TV Evangelists. These programs
(I suspect) bring in more money for less effort and even lesser returns
for their supporters than the Home Shopping Network, which they often
the masses continue to follow after these circus ringleaders, hanging
on every word, like a panting dog after the promised doggie biscuit.
Politician promises lower taxes and cleaner air to those who believe
Weatherman offers protection from the elements and a means by which to
plan one's holiday for those who heed his advice.
Psychologist assures those who follow his advice health, happiness and
Financial Wizard promises his clients high returns for low capital
Used Car Salesman offers years of carefree driving with the purchase of
that rattletrap he is pushing.
the door falls off the car; when taxes raise and the air turns purple;
when it rains on your picnic; when the Financial Expert is arrested for
embezzling; when you read of your Psychologist's seventh divorce; and
when your bank statement is printed in red ink - you are likely to give
second thought to the "Expert Advice" you have been given.
is how it is in the world of Worldly things.
what is it that these Mega Churches (and the Mini Churches as well) are
offering that is attracting Believers to them like flies to a honeypot?
stated above, sooner or later each of us is going to discover we have
been "took" by the Expert we listened to. But, somehow, this does not
often happen with the churches. Nor, when deception and flat-out lies
are discovered in these churches, there is but very little action taken
to correct it (other than to cover it). And when
action is taken, people continue to throw their
money at the perpetrator in effort to get him or her out
of the pickle he strove so hard (on the believer's money) to get
himself in to.
is it these churches are offering?
for one thing they offer Eternal Life. That is, when their followers
die, they are promised they will live again - forever. Not only live,
but live in splendor and glory.
course there are other religions that promise
much the same, and without it costing one penny or too much of one's
time. But these don't provide the circus-like atmosphere the churches
Life. Now there is something to invest in! And
Eternal Life is certainly something to sell without fear of a door
falling off or rain clouds rolling over a parade.
the believer wakes up on that Glorious day of reckoning having full
expectation of receiving their wings and golden harp, and finds the
Preacher he or she has been following is not a Messenger from God, but
a retired Used Car Salesman; a door falling off will seem like small
potatoes next to having one's wings clipped and hallo yanked from one's
head, would it not?
then there will be no recourse or new beginnings one might take to
correct their newly discovered error in judgement. And it will do no
good to rag on the Preacher about his shortcomings because he will be
standing right next to you, minus his wings and harp.
stand on opposite poles demanding their rightness be heard and
respected. Along with the Politician there are multitudes of groups and
organizations insisting they be heard over the din of confusion as
people demand their rights.
world is torn apart with opinions and counter-opinions.
we stand; divided we fall. And are we ever divided!
churches are no less divided in their views and their dogmas than the
world of the World. But in the church these opinions are not called
opinions. Opinions are looked upon as having less substance than wind,
and to be just as unstable. In the churches opinion goes by the name of
"Doctrine" which cannot be questioned or
challenged. They are considered as "Fact," even though those "Facts"
are often diametrically opposed to the Doctrines of the church down the
street, and a million other churches as well. They are also considered
as "Fact" in spite of all "Facts" standing in evidence against
them being in fact "Facts."
these "Facts," unlike the wishy-washy "facts" of the World, are all
based on the very same Book they say is written by the very same God
they purport to worship.
there something wrong with this picture?
as long as no door falls off the Doctrine any one of us is following,
the only way to find out if what we believe is in
fact truth or fiction is to die. Does your church offer a Death
and Opinion appear to be the only fields of intellectual endeavor where
a broadspectrum, even opposites, demand respectful consideration in
spite of all evidence against it.
are a dime a dozen. You get what you pay for.
will never be right. No matter what opinion you hold it will be
contradicted by those you express it to; even if that person has to
state an opinion contrary to the position they themselves hold. The
closest to appreciation you can hope for is: "Yes, but... ."
off-hand remark is remembered longer and used to judge a person much
harder than a well thought-out and rehearsed oratory.
(From Wikiquote.com & Wisdomquotes.com)
opinion is a person's ideas and thoughts towards something. It is an
assessment, judgment or evaluation of something.
are like opposable thumbs, everybody has one... ...but, on the other
hand..." Gregory Alan Elliott
to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain, or freed a human soul.
Its name is Public Opinion. It is held in reverence. It settles
everything. Some think it is the voice of God." Mark Twain
often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of
thought." John F. Kennedy
don't ask other men's opinions. I have my own." Charles
point is not to take the world's opinion as a guiding star but to go
one's way in life and working unerringly, neither depressed by failure
nor seduced by applause." Gustav Mahler
only opinion that matters is one's own." Anonymous
I want your opinion, I will tell it to you." Anonymous
should be formed with great caution, and changed with greater." H.W.
not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in
opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head
because you differ from yourself ten years ago." Horace Mann
who has no opinion of his own, but depends upon the opinion and taste
of others, is a slave." Klopstock
maintain an opinion because it is thine, and not because it is true, is
to prefer thyself above the truth." Venning
should always keep a corner of our heads open and free, that we may
make room for the opinions of our friends. Let us have heart and head
liberal man would impute a charge of unsteadiness to another for having
changed his opinion." Cicero
observes not that the voice of the people, yea of that people that
voiced themselves the people of God, did prosecute the God of all
people, with one common voice, "He is worthy to die." I will not,
therefore, ambitiously beg their voices for my preferment; nor weigh my
worth in that uneven balance, in which a feather of opinion shall be
moment enough to turn the scales and make a light piece go current, and
a current piece seem light." Arthur Warwick
is not only arrogant, but it is profligate, for a man to disregard the
world's opinion of himself." Cicero
the minds of most men, the kingdom of opinion is divided into three
territories,--the territory of yes, the territory of no, and a broad,
unexplored middle ground of doubt." James A. Garfield
foolish and the dead alone never change their opinion." Lowell
opinion, though often formed upon a wrong basis, yet generally has a
strong underlying sense of justice." Abraham Lincoln
with opinions just go around bothering each other." Buddha
purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself." Albert
I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is
that they don't stifle enough of them. There's many a best-seller that
could have been prevented by a good teacher." Flannery
human beings have an innate need to hear and tell stories and to have a
story to live by ... religion, whatever else it has done, has provided
one of the main ways of meeting this abiding need." Harvey
there is a meaning; at least for me, there is one thing that matters -
to set a chime of words tinkling in the minds of a few fastidious
people." Logan Pearsall Smith
words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling, like dew, upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think." Lord
get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To
condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous
flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition
just by itself...Anybody can have ideas--the difficulty is to express
them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be
reduced to one glittering paragraph." Mark Twain
the argument into a concrete shape, into an image, some hard phrase,
round and solid as a ball, which they can see and handle and carry home
with them, and the cause is half won." Ralph Waldo Emerson
is the truth inside the lie." Stephen King
difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense." Tom
your paper with the breathings of your heart..." William
will be kind to me for I intend to write it." Winston
should be careful and discriminating in all the advice we give. We
should be especially careful in giving advice that we would not think
of following ourselves. Most of all, we ought to avoid giving counsel
which we don't follow when it damages those who take us at our word." Adlai
is easy when we are in prosperity to give advice to the afflicted." Aeschylus
advice is always certain to be ignored, but that's no reason not to
give it." Agatha Christie
shall tell you a great secret my friend. Do not wait for the last
judgement, it takes place every day." Albert Camus
who proposes to do good must not expect people to roll stones out of
his way, but must accept his lot calmly if they even roll a few more
upon it." Albert Schweitzer
I been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints
for the better ordering of the universe." Alfonso the Wise
word to the wise ain't necessary, it's the stupid ones who need the
advice." Bill Cosby
is one of those things it is far more blessed to give than to receive."
the lessons of history in four sentences:
Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad with power.
The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly small.
The bee fertilizes the flower it robs.
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." Charles A.
is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't."
that gives good advice, builds with one hand; he that gives good
counsel and example, builds with both; but he that gives good
admonition and bad example, builds with one hand and pulls down with
the other." Francis Bacon, sr.
owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice,
and then going away and doing the exact opposite." G. K.
first step in wisdom is to question everything - and one's last is to
come to terms with everything." Georg C. Lichtenberg
bad that all the people who really know how to run the country are busy
driving taxi cabs and cutting hair." George Burns
things, when short, are twice as good." Gracián
have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out
what they want and then advise them to do it." Harry S
only profits from praise who values criticism." Heinrich
we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most us,
we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice,
solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our
wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with
us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour
of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not
healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a
friend who cares." Henri Nouwen
advice you give, be brief." Horace
leader must have the courage to act against an expert's advice." James
I had to give young writers advice, I would say don't listen to writers
talking about writing or themselves." Lillian Hellman
women are the advisers, the lords of creation don't take the advice
till they have persuaded themselves that it is just what they intended
to do; then they act upon it, and if it succeeds, they give the weaker
vessel half the credit of it; if it fails, they generously give her the
whole." Louisa May Alcott
it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it." Marcus
of over-great pleasure in being popular or even beloved." Margaret
do right--this will gratify some and astonish the rest." Mark
play cards with any man named "Doc." Never eat at any place called
"Mom's." And never, never, no matter what else you do in your whole
life, never sleep with anyone whose troubles are worse than your own." Nelson
only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to
oneself." Oscar Wilde
are the tears of a child: Sweeten them.
Deep are the thoughts of a child: Quiet them.
Sharp is the grief of a child: Take it from him.
Soft is the heart of a child: Do not harden it." Pamela
is more important than "say-so." Pete Seeger
who is too busy doing good finds no time to be good." Rabindranath
it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. No man has
learned anything rightly, until he knows that every day is Doomsday." Ralph
each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some
blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a
spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." Ralph Waldo
you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is
always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always
difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right.
To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of
the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it
takes brave men and women to win them." Ralph Waldo Emerson
is a mistake to suppose that men succeed through success; they much
oftener succeed through failures. Precept, study, advice, and example
could never have taught them so well as failure has done." Samuel
better were within, better would come out." Thomas Fuller
Decalogue of Canons for observation in practical life:
1. Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
2. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
3. Never spend your money before you have it.
4. Never buy what you do not want, because it is cheap; it will be dear
5. Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold.
6. We never repent of having eaten too little.
7. Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
8. How much pain have cost us the evils which never have happened.
9. Take things always by their smooth handle.
10. When angry, count ten, before you speak; if very angry, an hundred.
is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing
whatever to do with it." W. Somerset Maugham
it easy -- but take it." Woody Guthrie
all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of
the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing
that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in
silencing mankind." --John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859).
peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is
robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation;
those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it.
If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of
exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as
great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of
truth, produced by its collision with error." --John Stuart
Mill, On Liberty (1859).
refuse a hearing to an opinion, because they are sure that it is false,
is to assume that their certainty is the same thing as absolute
certainty. All silencing of discussion is an assumption of
infallibility. Its condemnation may be allowed to rest on this common
argument, not the worse for being common." --John Stuart
Mill, On Liberty (1859).
Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am
young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was
afraid, and durst not show you mine opinion. 7I
said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom. 8But
there is a spirit in man: and the
inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. 9Great
men are not always wise: neither do the aged
understand judgment. 10Therefore I said,
Hearken to me; I also will show mine opinion. 11Behold,
I waited for your words; I gave ear to your reasons, whilst ye searched
out what to say. 12Yea, I attended unto you,
and, behold, there was none of you that convinced
Job, or that answered his words: 13Lest
ye should say, We have found out wisdom: God thrusteth him down, not
man. 14Now he hath not directed his
words against me: neither will I answer him with your speeches.
were amazed, they answered no more: they left off speaking. 16When
I had waited, (for they spake not, but stood still, and
answered no more;) 17I said,
I will answer also my part, I also will show mine opinion. 18For
I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me. 19Behold,
my belly is as wine which
hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles. 20I
will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer. 21Let
me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give
flattering titles unto man. 22For I know not to
give flattering titles; in so doing my maker
would soon take me away. (Job 32:)
Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two
opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if
Baal, then follow him. And the people answered
him not a word. 22Then said Elijah unto the
people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the
LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and
fifty men. (1Kings 18:)
is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there
is that maketh himself poor, yet hath
ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the
poor heareth not rebuke.
light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be
by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is
wisdom. (Prov 13:)
know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert
cold or hot. 16So then because thou art
lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17Because
thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of
nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and
poor, and blind, and naked: 18I counsel thee to
buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white
raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that
the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with
eyesalve, that thou mayest see. (Rev 3:)