Wednesday, July 8, 2009
A point of view
Like Trollope's Mr. Arabin said, " I can become equally convinced of the logic of completely opposite points of view." This is tantamount to the assertion that, " he always believes the last thing he read or was told". I have envied those who have strong and lasting points of view, though they often fall in the category of "frequently wrong but never in doubt". Nevertheless, they have a thing to be grasped. I suppose the ability to see all points of view gives one the capacity to mediate, a utility always in short supply. The great danger to this state of mind is the tendancy to become easily persuaded. Argument that is marshaled in a clever way, by which the dogmatic or manipulative can beguile, is a fault if you like that I recognize in myself. I remember when my rotation to Chief of Staff at the hospital came about, my predecesssor , Eleanor said to me, "you're going to have trouble with this job unless you get rid of your naivety !" There is a difference between being open minded and having holes in your head. If you hear, or read, a reasoned argument for a polarized point of view and do not have the time or inclination to search the logic of the opposite view, then put the matter on the shelf till you do. There is nothing like time, to resolve issues, and the urgency is rarely yours. Eleanor Bold's retort to Mr. Arabin was, that she believed he had strong points of view that he was unwilling to reveal.She had to give him a nudge but he loved her and she knew it.