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Everyone has a chapter they don’t read too loud.
People hold opinions and share them with great passion and certainty. They are expressed with more zeal than I can remember in my lifetime. These opinions are often shared instantly, widely, and in an over-simplified way. Society appears to be losing its ability to see the different shades in a world where there are no absolutes. One of the outcomes of this is a lot of polarization and to top it all off you must have an opinion on a topic.
If an opinion is held with great passion then surely it will be held for a long time. It is difficult to hold an opinion on something in perpetuity. As long as there is change and time goes on, I don't think it's possible. What is acceptable today may not be acceptable tomorrow. Opinions should be held loosely, no matter how passionate. We must be willing to listen and change our minds with better information.
But that’s the crux. We live in a world with much more information available than in the past. What is better information? It can be hard to determine when information is coming at us with the force of a fire hose. It’s impossible to keep up. Yet, we're creating a culture where opinions need to be formed fast. Events change fast and you must have the right opinion on the latest social trend.
No, you do not.
We form opinions quick and share them too fast. This is often done by following our own common thought patterns or the opinion of a trusted person. You're either in support or not on a given topic. We don't
have take the time to think through and process the information. It’s impossible to have an informed opinion on every topic. If you haven’t taken the time to understand the information, don’t have an opinion until you have.
Our culture has put more weight on having the right opinion. The loudest and most shared opinion has become associated with the right opinion. You can score quick social points by sharing the right thing. It’s “easy”, follow the tribe. The right choice has become the safe choice. The safe choice has become the popular choice. The choice that does not get you cancelled. The thinking is done for you. Society has put less emphasis of the actions people take and more emphasis on vocalizing the right action.
Passionate opinions are not the problem. It’s the lack of thought in forming opinions that needs to change. It’s the certainty of an opinion that needs to be questioned. It’s the willingness to have an open civil discussion surrounding differing opinions that needs to happen. It’s being okay with having no opinion.
What’s your opinion?
I appreciate you.
P.s. I could have spent more time on this blog when forming my opinion on this topic. This is an oversimplification but I’m aware of that and my thoughts are subject to change. To be continued.