‘I Think’

I have two legs, two arms and at least four eyes. I think that’s true, but to be honest, I don’t know. I don’t know about most things. I think a lot of us five fingered fiddlers are like that. Brains could be computer programs, and teeth could just be vague theoretical concepts in the real world.  I mean, honestly, I don’t know anything.

That’s probably less scary than I think it is. I mean, who cares, right? We work with what we’ve got, and what we’ve got is what we see and measure and splurge science all over. Let’s just settle with that and treat it like fact. Fact! Its fact I tell you! No opinion here!

Hang on a second…

I listened to a podcast a while ago, a podcast that is great and deserves all the warm wishes possible, where one of the hosts expressed his annoyance at people who say you should clarify statements with ‘I think’. They were saying that it’s a given, that of course what I’m saying is an opinion and not a fact. Which is an argument I can understand. But it’s also an argument that’s completely wrong.

You see, the truth is, saying ‘I think’ takes barely any effort at all. It only serves to clarify what you’re saying, to reduce any hostility, real or imagined, that might be read in whatever statement you’ve made. I like saying ‘I think’ because it’s as close to the truth as I can manage to get, and because it’s acknowledging the small print tattooed on all babies at birth: ‘subject to change’.

I change my mind. A lot. To an irritating degree. About fifty percent of my memories are about seventy-five percent fiction. About eighty-five percent of the movies I used to like I now think are thirty-three percent rubbish. About one-hundred percent of my opinions have changed, at least a little bit, from the time I thought crying was an appropriate way to get attention from my mother. I don’t think it’s just me with this problem, either. People change, is the gods honest truth.

So let’s just say ‘I think’, yeah? It’s not so hard to do, and it makes people like me happy. It’s a great phrase, and people should use it more often. That’s a fact, as true as the earth beneath our feet. As true as the sun up there in the sky. As true as our teeth, all shiny and white, snap snap snapping on heaven’s door. It’s all real.

It’s all real, right?

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