Re-post: The matter of opinions

I’m hoping to use this space for less formulaic and more creative writing, hearkening back to my blogging days of old. To stimulate that side of my brain, I’m going to occasionally post some old goodies I come across. Here’s one from 2011, originally posted on Tumblr. 

  • o-pin-ion (noun) 1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty. 2. a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.
  • fact (noun) 1. something that actually exists; reality; truth. 2.something known to exist or to have happened.

In the second of a developing series of tweetfessions, I expressed tonight that sometimes I have trouble distinguishing between the above two concepts, ie: there are times when, in attempting to share an opinion, I express it as fact.

Instead of sharing a personal belief or judgment that cannot be proved with absolute certainty, I make statements of fact that, in my mind, are true and cannot be argued against.

The potential outcome of this is twofold: a) one can come across as a bit of an asshole a know-it-all, and b) one runs the risk of ostracizing those who may not share the same opinion.

Allow me to give an example.

I am not a fan of the show ‘Big Bang Theory.’ I have tried to watch it on several occasions, but have it to be quite boring and unfunny, causing me to change to channel before making it through an entire episode. I have been known to state in no uncertain terms that the show stinks, and that it is not worth watching. At the same time, however, the reality is that this is a wildly popular show, and for a multitude of reasons that are inexplicable to me, there are many people who would say that it is quite hilarious.

In saying that it unequivocally sucks, I come across as some sort of TV expert (which I’m not), and open up the possibility for those who genuinely enjoy the show to feel somewhat attacked or shamed for doing so (which is crazy).

Something that I am learning more and more is the value of staying quiet; not all opinions need to be shared, and it’s quite alright to be quietly confident in and comfortable with the things I like and/or believe while allowing others to enjoy and openly express their opinions on something, even if I do not hold the same view.

This translates not only in matters of taste (movies, TV, music, sports teams etc.), but also when it comes to more personal beliefs that people hold as well.

And while there certainly are times when certain statements and beliefs need to be wrestled with and questioned, I need not only to be open to having my opinions questioned, but to lovingly allow others to hold their opinions without always feeling the need to argue against them.

Because at the end of the day, when it comes to the matter of opinions, sometimes it just doesn’t matter all that much.

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