minding the gap

“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.”

Marshal Fochs


Ok. Marshal Fochs is a WW1 French military guy and at the core of this thought is that nothing elevates the soul of a human to fire than to have their home threatened.

At the core of THAT thought is believing in that home is half the battle.  Ok. Maybe more than half. It won’t stop a bullet. But enough people with enough passion will equal more than the total bullets in the end.

But let’s take this to a different space – opinions and ideas.

Yeah.  If you want to feel the fire, have your idea or belief or opinion attacked.

But let me take it to an even different space – the passionate opinionated – and how they all seem to have their human soul on fire AND invested in their belief/opinion.

Psychology typically separates passionate and opinionated, but the reality is we face people every fucking day who are passionate about their opinions, in other words, passionate and opinionated. Their passion creates objectivity blindness and, in their passion, they have a nasty habit of turning the conversation upside down where they will argue you are the one being opinionated <yet you are using facts and knowledge> and you are the one being ‘objectively blind’ because you are not open to alternative views. Well. Let’s be clear. Not all alternative views are created equal and some of them are just wacky.

And in defending the wacky <or maybe what they call the “silent majority” which is actually the“1% view”> these passionate people are not only focused on what feels true and right for them <many times under the guise of common sense> BUT ALSO are focused on their opinion just being right. Yeah. This makes them almost obsessive <passionate> not just in their opinion, but in defending it.

“No” just doesn’t seem an option in their passionate pursuit of their belief.

Which leads me to strong opinions, loosely held and minding the gap.

Passionate people are relentless and their strength resides mainly in their resolve, not the truth. Therefore, it becomes a battle of attrition where we, seeking to find some resolution and get the hell out of this alternative universe, try to close the gap between the universes.

Which leads me to ‘mind the gap.’ The gap is the gap. The gap exists BECAUSE they have their passionate opinions which don’t completely reside in reality and you have to be mindful that you don’t step across the gap in the attempt to find a resolution. I say that because the moment you step into their universe, even though you may still view it as some warped version of truth, facts, reality, they see it as validation. Remember. Most of us seek win-win, passionate opinionated are zero sum. Their objective blindness is necessary in a ‘win or nothing mindset’.

All that said. It feels like there are more passionate opinionated people today than in the past. There have always been passionate people, heck, passion is often what pushes ideas through skepticism and entropy to actually get good things done as well as obstruct bad things from not getting done. And maybe that is where this whole thing has gone off the rails. The outcome has become more important than the idea. In the past that passionate push allowed the idea, and ideas, to morph a bit as it got forged through the gauntlet. In today’s world it is kill or be killed to a passionate person. We have shifted from sharing knowledge to get somewhere better to simply stating what is better and telling everyone you either get on board or you don’t even deserve to be alive.

I do believe belief is a powerful weapon, tool, energy as a force for good. Alternatively, if you agree with that, you must also accept it can be a force for bad. I end there because it really does sometimes feel like an actual battle, or war, between good and bad. Certainly, the passionate opinionated feel like they are at war. So if you stand for truth, facts and purposefully good knowledge that improves humans and humankind, prepare for battle. Or prepare to die in some alternative universe.

Written by Bruce