Two flies were sitting in a corral on a pile of cow manure. They were going to town, eating their fill, just enjoying life. They saw a pitchfork leaning up against the fence. The two flies decided rather than flying up there, they could just leisurely walk right up the handle to the top to bask in the sun for a while.
When they got to the top, they were just about to stretch out and relax, when they saw the farmer walking straight toward them.
“Oh man, we gotta get out of here!” said one fly to the other. He started slowly, carefully climbing back down the handle of the pitchfork
“We’re flies, man, that means we can fly!” said the other fly. He jumped off the pitchfork handle and flapped his wings, but the considerable weight of all the cow manure in his belly was just too much for his little wings to handle.
His buddy watched helplessly as his impetuous comrade plummeted to the earth. He turned away to avoid seeing the impact, but heard the splat of the fly’s body disintegrating upon impact nonetheless.
And the moral of the story is: don’t fly off the handle when you’re full of shit.
My grandparents told me that story countless times by my growing up. It’s funny, but the message has always resonated. If you are going to speak (or write), get your facts straight first. If you don’t, brace for impact.
One amazing thing about growing up with people from the Great Depression and World War II era is that if you’re open to it, you learn countless life lessons without having to actually starve/get shot at/get tuberculosis, etc., to learn them.
Here’s a bit of that wisdom, as applied to modern life through the filter of a few decades of book learnin’.
Facts are provable and disprovable. Opinions are not.
Facts carry 100x more weight than opinions, but the opinion of a subject matter expert or someone you respect can have a lot of facts baked into it, and thus, warrant your attention.
If I respect you, and you come at me with your opinion, I’ll listen.
If I don’t know you or don’t respect you, and you come at me with facts, I’ll listen. I respect facts irrespective of the source.
But, if I don’t know you or I don’t respect you (for instance, because you’re a blowhard dipshit who spouts unfettered nonsense 24/7) and you bring me your opinion?
Well, like our fly friend, you are destined for a short vertical trip toward the terrain. Don’t say we didn’t warn ya.