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How to Use the Law of Opposition for Getting More Acceptance

A woman is happily watching the currently winning man in a tug of war.

What is meant by opposition? Why people oppose us even when we are right or doing good? Are some people are envious about our success to keep opposing us? What people get by opposing us? Why we feel so exhausted when we push against any opposition? How to get a work done when there is an opposition?

A. What is Opposition?

Opposite Position is opposition. Whenever someone stands opposite to one’s decisions and actions it is called an opposition. (However in the modern days, every definition is twisted and turned, and often people think someone not accepting your views and perspective is opposition).

Opposition is the opposite force. So if you are going for your studies, and someone drags you to watch movies, then that is opposition. However if you think that Subhas Chandra Bose was the main Hero in the Indian freedom fight, but someone says, no it was in fact Mohandas Gandhi, then that is not opposition, but rather a mere contrarian view.

B. Why do people oppose you?

Everyone has different perspectives, experiences, purposes, responsibilities, strengths, weaknesses, feelings, emotions, aspirations, ambitions, competitiveness, insecurities, values, relationships, environment, and thousands of varying different dimensions of life. Therefore no two people ever born on this planet, or who will be born in the future were the same and will be the same.

Everyone has to survive, thrive, and reproduce. Everyone has to arrange for food, water, shelter, and energy for the family, and they reserve them for the bad times and for the future. Life is so hard that no one has the time for others irrespective of how much they pretend to live a life selflessly for others.

Someone has got a house, and money from an inheritance, and therefore he wouldn’t have to struggle for that. But life is about fighting and struggling. So such people may have to struggle hard to keep their families and relationships. Let’s say a couple has tremendous understanding and love, but hasn’t got any money or property from an inheritance, so they have to struggle hard for money.

Each one of us pursues what we absolutely need, but do not have, in the ways we are more comfortable and skilled to pursue. If one is a builder, his pursuit would be land development. However, if someone is a farmer, he would continue to farm in the land. Therefore when it will come to the survival of the builder and the farmer, the former would try to make a housing complex on the land, whereas the other would try to continue to produce crops on the land. Because they are two different people with the same need for money, but with different skills, one with building and the other with farming.

one with farming, their actions will be exactly opposite to each other.

The farmer will appear to be opposing the builder, whereas the builder will appear to take away the livelihood of the farmer.

In reality, no one opposes anyone, it is just that everyone tries to ensure a better and safe life for themselves and their families; when people with the same need with different skills and abilities pursues that need, their actions appear opposite to each other.

Police appear to oppose a thief because a policeman can take back salary and perks only if he can provide security to people, and prevent anyone from stealing. Whereas the thief can not feed the family if he doesn’t steal.

C. Why Opposition is desired and important?

A hero and a villain appear to stand opposite to each other in a story; however if the villain did not exist, hero couldn’t fight a war against anyone and thus no one would have become a hero at the first place.

If there was no darkness, one wouldn’t understand the value of life, or worst, wouldn’t even recognize lights. Without sustained sadness, no one would experience happiness. Because our brain does not understand the absolute hormonal levels, but it understands only the variations in the levels, our brain can not experience pleasure, without going through the pain.

 for every action (force) in nature, there is an equal and opposite reaction(or force);

Newton’s third law

Irrespective of what you do, there is always an inverse force that is acting against your action. At times we are so busy with ourselves, and we consider ourselves so powerful that we forget that everyone and everything that is part of the universe is governed by the laws of physics.

For example, while writing this article, I may feel that there is no one or there is nothing that prevents me from writing this article. However, that is far from the truth. My mood is acting against me. My diversion is acting against me. My random thoughts in the brain are acting against me. My tiredness is acting against me. Not always the opposition force is visible, but there exists one, all the time.

So you have to always acknowledge the laws of physics and know that there is some opposition all the time. Some forces are visible, and other forces are invisible. Humans are not well equipped with understanding and comprehending anything that is beyond our senses. So for instance when I am writing this article, if anyone comes and calls me, or disturbs me, I know that person is trying to oppose my writing at this moment. However, I do not know with absolute certainty how my mood or my laziness is acting against me at this moment.

C. If there are always an inverse and opposite force, how can anything get done in the first place? Shouldn’t the forces cancel themselves?

If you asked this question just now, then you are not just glancing at this article, but rather reading this article deeply with the intention to learn something important. You want to understand the importance of the opposition. You want to understand the opposition. So, firstly of all congratulations for trying to learn and not just engulf some meaningless information.

If the builder in our example and the farmer in our example both apply equal forces, then there would neither be a building, nor any crop in the land. Isn’t it? That happens all the time. When the effort and the force of two opposite entities are equal, nothing gets done. Thousands of acres of land in India are lying barren.

A few years back, Tata Motors wanted to open an integrated car manufacturing factory for its revolutionary low-cost Nano cars in a place called Singur in West Bengal. The local farmers protested the effort of converting fertile land into a factory. The protests went on for several months. On one side there was the administration and the industry who were trying everything in their capacity to build a factory in Singur. On the other hand, there were farmers, who wanted their land to remain fertile, and not become a polluting factory. Finally, the struggle resulted in Tata Motors giving away its plan to set up the factory in Singur and moving away to Gujrat. Neither a factory got done in Singur, nor it had any agriculture. Because the land was unused for a long period of time, today it is not worthy of either any farming or setting up an industry.

This is exactly the outcome of Newton’s third law. However, the definition of work itself is moving an object physically over a distance d, using a force F. So, whenever you want to get something done, you have to apply a force that is more than the opposite force.

But, if we can actually apply a force more than the opposition force, wouldn’t Newton’s law be broken?

Yes, absolutely it will be broken. However, we need to remember that there are several forces that are applied to a work, both in favor of it, as well as in opposition. A land becomes barren even when no factory or house complex is set up there, if there is a flood or drought for a sustained period of time. So, there are already forces against agriculture on the land that are invisible. In the same way even after the factory was established, the land could have still remained barren if the market demand for the car had fallen and Tata Group had to close the factory. So the market is acting in favor or against the car factory, and in the same way environment is acting against or in favor of agriculture.

So, if agriculture had to thrive in Singur, it would have to push the market away and people would have remained poor. If the industry had thrived in Singur, the market would have pulled in that place, which would have pushed the environment away and people would be more ill than they would be when they did agriculture.

So, whether you know it, realize it, understand it, or not, you will lose something or the other when you make something. Alexander lost his life at the age of 32, in his pursuit to win the world. Einstein had to separate from his wife, in his pursuit to prove his theory of relativity. Ratan Tata, the former chairman of the Tata Group, and one of the most respected names in India couldn’t marry and have a family due to his responsibilities to the group. Arjun lost his son Abhimanyu in his quest to fight for Dharm and defeat adharmic Kauravs.

In 1959, Russians decided to do cotton production and manufacturing around the sore of Aral sea. They diverted the rivers that were flowing into the sea. Within decades the sea got dried and we do not have the Aral sea anymore in the world. Russia increased their cotton production, but an entire sea got vanished from the face of the earth.

Russia caused such an irreversible damage to the ecology because they couldn’t forsee the invisible forces that were acting against the cotton production around Aral sea. Singur’s land is barren today, but the ecology is not being destroyed because there the opposition force was visible.

D. How to acknowledge and use opposition for your benefit in a narrative?

Life is a story, a narrative. It is never any random events. “A Nano Car Factory will bring employment to Bengal and change the lives of the people there” is a narrative. We first setup a higher purpose and a narrative, and then take actions to make that narrative true.

Therefore even though opposition refers to as the opposite position, and not necessarily the opposite force, we must understand and acknowledge the opposite narratives. In Singur, farmer’s narrative was that “a factory may last for few decasdes or a century, but the land will keep feeding our families for centuries.

Let’s assume that the movement of the farmers were not as vigerous as it turned out to be, and a factory was eventually built there, that factory might have actually harmed the ecology of river ganges like the Aral sea did, affecting millions of lives in Bengal.

So, even when people whose narratives are against your narrative, irrespective of whether their narrative has enough force against you or not, you must and should pay attention to such narratives.

It is merely one’s feelingns that opposition is preventing us from doing the great things we want to do for the people, but there is always an opposition per Newton’s law against any of your actions; so a visible opposition is safeguarding you from dealing with invisible situations;

Remember, when you try to eliminate the opposition, and brush off the opposite and contrarian narrative, you are inviting a miserable unforeseen, invisible force onto your action. Unseen forces and invisible opposite force will cause significant confusion, trauma, anxiety and fear in you. You have to push hard to overcome them. Because forces will act even against your push, you will eventually lose something or the other.

In order to avoid being destroyed by an opposite invisible force, always invite opposition, and a lot of it. Invite oppositve forces, invite opposite narrative, invite anything that prevents you from doing what you are doing. In that way, you shall always remain aware of what is preventing you from achieveing what you are trying to achieve, rather than living in some forms of fear in your subconscious mind about something not being right with the situation.

E. Conclusion

Opposition makes a narrative unbiased. Because our brain works in contrast mode(sensing day, only after experiencing night). Because our feelings are a function of various in hormones and not absolute levels, over history the shrude politicians have always created an opposition to wrest public opinion benefit.

One classic example is the left front in Bengal in their unchallenged rule for over two decades under the Chief Ministership of late Mr. Jyoti Basu. Left front has always been a subsidery of socialist-leaning party, by opposing to the views of the government. One example is UPA’s second term which was based on Let’s protest against the nuclear deal.

When there is enough opposition to create a contrast in the public, but not huge enough to change it, then the policy implementation becomes simpler.

In the war manual this is called the Friction strategy. Earlier this was called a Vesaal state, a state where a Stooge of an imperialist will be appointed, who would always oppose the imperialist, but will benefit them when it was needed.
When you love someone deeply, and want to spend your life with that person, if others are opposing that association, the apreciate and acknowledge such opposition, because if you don’t invisible forces will be acting against you.

Passionate, Accountable Student for Life

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