What do you think about it? and What do you feel about it? are different questions, eliciting different responses. Each is half the question, neither sufficient by itself. After, I wished she had asked, “What do you think about the job interview?” as I would not have sounded so silly, self-centred and irrelevant.
Ah. I still despise my feelings. I find them unconstructive. They get in the way.
That dispute. It is a pecking order thing. I altered the way a question was to be put to Area Meeting. I altered the expression of the question, not the issue to be considered. My motive was to facilitate discernment, which I felt would be disrupted by the poor formulation of the questions. K thought I was changing the issue, and told me I should not. She asserted that the original question had been put by a particular authority. When I showed this was in error, she approached J to seek reconciliation of our dispute.
The facts matter. Was the original question badly expressed? Did my rephrasing cover the same issue? That can be assessed. Then there is the feeling: when I act for the good of the group, I resent being accused of favouring my personal preferences. I resent being told what to do, without justification.
Now I assert, I am standing my ground for the good of the group. If the whole group sets our agenda, and debates it, our time is wasted. No-one else should criticise my agenda-setting without good reason, because the only efficient way to deal with agenda-setting is to delegate it to one person, who gets it mostly right. So my agenda-setting should be tolerated unless it is particularly bad. This is arguable, but may be rationalisation. I know what I want, and construct arguments that it is right. The argument emboldens me to keep contesting the matter.
Here thinking and feeling intertwine. The question is, “How do I respond?”
Earlier, I thought, give up. Then it nagged at me. I could not give up. I analysed the matter and found a way to assert myself. So much of this is unconscious. It just seems to happen.
I cycled past Boughton House, thinking, I have about another hour to go. The late afternoon sun is beautiful. The inclines can be a bit of a bind. I saw a tiny deer, only the height of a golden retriever, staring out from the woods. Exercise is good. Now, I am committed. I encourage and chivvy myself along. There are different voices in me, seeming more rational or emotive, and their relative power varies in different situations.