“In my opinion…” this phrase is often a challenge. Mixed with a belligerent gaze. Chased by a defiant pause. It’s less certain cousin – “It’s just my opinion” – trails glumly behind a collection of ill-chosen words.

As I sat reading this issue, I couldn’t help but wonder: When did having an opinion become such a bad thing? I questioned why we (okay, me) had decided upon ‘The Opinion Issue’. Should it be the ‘Well-structured Thoughts Issue’? 

I grew up in a high-decibel household. Opinions were our currency. At university I did not read as many opinions as I should have (except those of the late Lord Denning, whose wild dissenting opinions were cat nip to law students, arms and spirits weighed down by legal tomes and precedent). As a young assistant editor, the opinion page of The New York Times was my spiritual home (still going strong Maureen Dowd – oh wow, I just realised you got your Pulitzer Prize in the same year Lord Denning died; this column is coming along nicely!).

So enough with the second guessing, The Opinion Issue it is. For as we exit the second winter of our perpetual pandemic (was it only a few months ago we placed ‘post’ in front of ‘pandemic’ – ah those hopeful Autumn days), I sense a mass flagging, or in the parlance of psychology, a languishing. Coined by the American sociologist and psychologist, Corey Keyes, languishing is the psychological equivalent of the mid-level donor. Not depressed, not flourishing, somewhere in between – a state we don’t pay enough attention to. 

To counter this, and to borrow from psychology once again, let’s take a professional awe walk. Within these pages your colleagues discuss issues that are important to them. Some are controversial, some are challenging (in a good way), some are comforting. And if you read them all you’ll discover a common thread.

We, and they, don’t have all the answers, but to echo one of our contributors, we hope we to create space for you to learn, grow, achieve – and flourish. 

CLARE JOYCE, Content Director