I don’t know where I picked up the phrase “It’s the principle of the matter that bothers me” but it took years before I stopped annoying my friends with it.

Despite the pseudonyms and fictional locales and the barriers that exist between my life as it happens and as I report it to you, you all are let in on a little detail that most people that I meet and talk to on a regular basis don’t know: I am someone with a lot of opinions. Opinions of everything.

For a variety of reasons, I have become less opinionated with age. I discovered along the way that opinions are often wrong, for instance. And that loudly voicing opinions is socially dangerous in ways that I cannot generally afford. Oh, and people that feel the need to express their opinion on everything can be very obnoxious. So I often keep my opinions to myself, which actually has the effect of reducing the number of opinions I have and the ferocity of these opinions.

One of the big things that broke me out of the “principle of the matter” habit was Hubert. Hubert had a hair-trigger temper not unlike mine and I noticed that whenever his initial outburst seemed disproportionate to the amount of harm done, he would retreat to it being about the principle of the matter. Proportionality doesn’t matter when you have principles, after all. It was a great way for him to re-evaluate his responses to things and perhaps even be greatful that things were not as dire as they had initially appeared.

So in response to him, I became much more of a live-and-let-live person. And a fan of that saying “let that which does not matter truly not matter.”

I meet with varying success.

When I was living with Hubert, I used to crack wise about how “In the World According to Hubert…” followed by a reaction relatively out-of-proportion with the consequences of the offenses. For instance: In the World According To Hubert, it’s vitally important that people signal when about to take a forced turn so that drivers behind them know that they will be slowing down to take said turn” with the implication that a failure to so turn is yet another example of the downfall of society.

As the saying goes, we criticize in others what we dislike about ourselves. And of course one of the reasons that I pounced on it was because howevermuch I mocked The World According to Hubert, there has always been a World According to William.

So periodically I will be posting World According to William posts, outlining the relatively inane aspects of society that I take objection to. -{TWATW}-


Category: Coffeehouse

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One Response to The World According to William

  1. Barry says:

    Sounds interesting. I look forward to reading your observations.

    I would also be interested in reading about things that used to bother you, but don’t anymore – an example of how aging and experience can put perspective on many things younger people might take great pride in letting get under their skin…

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