I’m quite an opinionated person. I tend to jump forth with my initial reaction without regard for the whole situation. It’s something I’m working on. For me, being opinionated struggles with my want for a less judgmental society. After all, isn’t an opinion a judgment?
Yes. And no.
Yes, as you are making a judgment on a situation. Right, wrong or indifferent, it is a judgment brought about your own morals, values and views. An opinion is swayed by life experience, life circumstances, cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs about right and wrong.
But isn’t everyone entitled to an opinion?
Yes, of course. But it is the way the opinion is shared and voiced that is important. Not every opinion you hold needs to be expressed. Sometimes you gain so much more by withholding an opinion and keeping it close to your heart to guide you.
By not sharing an opinion, you actually lend yourself to being more open on the topic in question. It allows you time to see both sides of the story and make a much more informed opinion than one off the cuff.
But shouldn’t opinions be shared to spread awareness, or bring light and change to a negative situation?
This is where it gets hard.
If the many thought leaders of our past hadn’t shared their opinions and stood up for their views, we would not be where we are today. We would still be living in a society where cave men ruled and women collected berries.
But, it today’s world, particularly with the advent of social media, opinion has become all too easy to share off the cuff and in the heat of the moment. And the results are usually negative.
Abusive comments, hurtful reactions, trolling happen all too often. Even in areas deemed ‘safe’. For example, I noted on a friend’s Facebook profile when they made comment regarding a recent issue in the media, the frenzy that was whipped up was, to me, mind blowing. That ‘friends’ could turn a simple comment, said in good faith and with good intention, into personal attacks and disrespectful accusations.
Did this person’s message get through? Was their good intention to promote a need for change thwarted?
I would think this person’s attitude would be one that at least a conversation was taking place bringing attention to the issue.
Me, I’m not so sure.
Does that mean we need to go back to a world where we keep our opinions to ourselves?
Sometimes I wonder what that world would be like. There’d sure be a lot less noise! But, I don’t think that is the answer. Unfortunately the answer lies in something that will probably never change. People.
People are passionate.
We are a made to experience emotions on all areas of the spectrum, and sometimes our rational thinking gets overridden by these extremes of emotions.
We tend to forget about things like manners and respect. We forget to listen for both sides of the story before forming an opinion. And we tend to judge others on their opinion on a topic.
Rather than accept that we all have different opinions, we sometimes cannot see how on earth someone elses opinion is justified or acceptable. When maybe it is. Maybe it doesn’t make them a bad person to sit on their side of the fence. Maybe it doesn’t mean that they would act a certain way, but can just see things as less important, or as having less impact?
And don’t get me wrong, there are of course times when opinions shared have brought about change and awareness, so of course that is a good thing.
It’s a real can of worms isn’t it?
It comes back to where you value your opinion. Is it personal? Or do you feel the need to be an advocate for your opinion as it is a strong belief you hold? Each to their own I believe.
I know I often read things on social media that I’d like to share my point of view on. Not in a way to criticise another or prove a right, but just to share another opinion and why. I have done it a couple of times, and each time been slammed. And that’s been enough to turn me off.
I don’t need to share my opinions from a soapbox. I’ve decided my opinions are best to guide me in life. To bring me back to my core values of respect and kindness. Of knowing the difference between right from wrong.
I understand that one opinion does not form a person. And I will withhold judgment. As to judge has no purpose.
But isn’t sharing on this blog, or any blog simply a form of opinion?
I guess it is. But I hope, that the way I choose to share is never a judgement or that I never spruik a ‘my way or the highway’ attitude.
So, I guess I’ll leave that judgment up to you.