The difficulty of taking a firm stance on an idea

One thing I’ve always shied away from is taking a firm stance on a topic. Let me be clear, I have not shied from taking a firm stance because I don’t have conviction in what I believe in; the reason why I avoid taking firm positions is because I think it’s very difficult to truly know everything about something, irrespective of the complexity or simplicity of what is being discussed. Let me clarify this by providing a three examples.

Example 1: Discussing the properties of a strawberry

If we ask two people to describe something as simple as a strawberry, we will likely get different answers on properties such as:

  • If the strawberry tastes good or bad overall.
  • What the strawberry actually tastes like.
  • The sweetness of the strawberry.
  • The texture of the strawberry as it’s being consumed.
  • The feel of the strawberry in their hand.

Based on the varying factors, it would be very difficult for me to take a firm stance on what I think a strawberry is since there are so many factors in play that are unique to me as an individual.

Example 2: Discussing the colour of the sky

Once again, if we ask several people to describe the colour of the sky, they will likely give different descriptions of what colour the sky is since our brains will process the incoming light through the eyes in our own unique way.

Knowing this varying light perception, I cannot truly say that I know what colour the sky really is since it changes based on the person viewing the sky.

Example 3: Determination of a person’s intelligence

We often see people judge each other’s level of intelligence on how smart or unintelligent they think an individual is based on certain events that took place, their score on an exam, or how they dress and how they speak among other factors.

Once again, I find it difficult to judge a person’s intelligence since my characterization of  an “intelligent” person does not necessarily mean that a person that does not fit this characterization is “unintelligent “. For example, if I’m taking a math course and I score 85% on the exam, while someone else in the class scores 30% on the exam – this lower score doesn’t mean they are a foolish person; all it concludes is that they might not be adept at math, or they did not study enough for the exam or they may be having some issues in their personal life which hindered their ability to perform well. Also, this person that scored 30% may be very talented at other subjects where I would likely do poorly at.

Summary & Conclusion

As can be seen in all three examples, it is difficult to take a firm stance on an idea since everything we look at is always perceived through our own unique biological sense perceptions, belief systems and value systems.  I find this realization to be a very humbling experience since it gives me an open-minded viewpoint to our world in accepting other people’s view of our world.


Thank you for stopping by and reading this post.





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