Listen up, opinionated people. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. Some people hesitate to do that because they worry about what others may think or say about what they said. An opinion is just that – an opinion. And just like everybody has a brain, everyone has an opinion.
People often form opinions and judgments based on a variety of factors including personal life experiences. Sometimes just a gut feeling will persuade us to think one way or another. For instance, some people have the opinion that 45 is the great white hope. Others opine, based on what we’ve seen and heard, is that he is the devil’s disciple.
If you have an opinion and want to express it, then do it. Don’t feel intimidated by what “they” might say or think. People are going to say what they want to say about you whether you express your opinion or play deaf and dumb. Take that last sentence, for instance. The opinion of some people is that the phrase “deaf and dumb” should not be used because it could be considered offensive. Context people! Keep things in context, and you might avoid misconstruing what someone says. (Veering off-subject for a moment, I have to say that I agree with journalist Katy Tur whose opinion is that “This PC culture has run amok.)
If others have a difference of opinion about what you say, that’s okay. That’s their prerogative. Just like the adage “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure,” I say that “One person’s opinion may be another person’s nonsense, but it is still that person’s opinion.” You have a choice to consider an opinion that might differ from your own, or you can disregard it. Plain and simple.
If you are an opinionated person and other people are uncomfortable because you refuse to keep your opinion to yourself, that’s their problem. Don’t make it yours. Remember, you have as much right to your opinion as they do to theirs. If they think you are a loud-mouth because you make your thoughts known; you might think that they are wimps because they refuse to say what they are champing at the bit to say.
A strong opinion about something doesn’t always have to be made public. Sometimes a wise person will avoid expressing his or her opinion in order not to hurt someone’s feelings or be offensive. And because you may have a strong opinion it doesn’t mean that you can’t change your mind.
Years ago, I was an ardent proponent of the death penalty and didn’t mind discussing my position. My cousin, David, a vocal opponent, will tell you that he and I had great debates on that subject. All of the arguments against it did not change my mind. But in time, after considering numerous circumstances and studying the subject, I changed my opinion on capital punishment.
Be opinionated if you want to and be vocal. Opinions are not gospel and sometimes they are not fact-based. Nevertheless, it is wise to be adequately informed about what you speak instead of shooting blanks from the brain and out the mouth. And to buttress your position, keep in mind the words of Arnold H. Glasow, “The fewer the facts the stronger the opinion.”