That’s not to say I would deliberately do or say things that would upset people. But if others don’t like my opinions then that’s tough.
This is not something that happened overnight; it has been a gradual development throughout my life starting from adolescence when it was essential that I looked and acted to conform with my peer group. I rarely complained and generally respected authority (although that is sadly going out of the window nowadays).
Progressively my confidence grew so that I became more likely to voice my opinion even if it contradicted popular beliefs. At the same time I began to realise that most of those in positions of power were utterly incompetent and often stupid. In many cases I could do a better job than them if I had the inclination.
When I was in my thirties I was supping beer with a friend in a pub called The Gate in Barnet, North London. Not a spectacular watering hole but pleasant enough and it served a decent pint. Nowadays it’s all nooks and crannies and microwaved lasagne. It was after the lunchtime rush and we were the only ones in the bar apart from three old boys well past retirement.
The door opened and two policemen came in, one in uniform the other plain clothes, and asked the barman if they could speak to the landlord. As they were waiting one of the old boys called out “My friends and I were just saying that this is the only country in the world where you can say what you want to a policeman without getting locked up. So UP YOURS!”. This was accompanied by the obvious gesture.
To his credit the officer in plain clothes calmly replied “And the same to you sir”.
I’m not at that stage yet, but perhaps one day I’ll speak out and amuse someone else who is half way along the road to “not giving a t#$s”.