Human Being Opinions – Get them while they’re hot!
By Duane Hewitt
We’ve all been served a ton of them throughout our lifetimes whether we wanted them or not. What are they? They’re human being opinions, and there are plenty to go around with absolutely no indication that the supply is about to run out.
Opinions are tricky things. Some people love to offer their opinions when those opinions aren’t needed. And there are different types of opinions. A lawyer or accountant might give you an opinion that’s founded on knowledge and experience, but that’s normally referred to as counsel or advice. In other cases, say, by example, a conversation might take place at home, while at work, or even with a stranger on a park bench. Some of the expressed views will be based on knowledge whereas other viewpoints won’t be. Like the saying goes, when it comes to opinions, you get what you pay for – nothing.
The problem with opinions comes down to our very flawed nature as human beings. We have a penchant for being lousy with information and insight. Our memories fail us. We remember things differently than they are. We are biased. We exaggerate, invent, and lie. Few of us are capable of taking a topic and approaching it impartially or intelligently. Even fewer go to the necessary lengths to learn all that is learnable about a given topic. And this applies as much to the big topics as to the most mundane.
The thing about opinions is that they’re almost never solicited. And opinions are often not valid. But lots of people like to think their opinions are of value, just check out all the opinionated blogs on the Internet or the comment sections for news sites (Note well: many news sites no longer permit comments due to the inane nature of the remarks!)
Nonetheless, if you feel inclined to share your opinion, it may help to bear in mind a few suggestions:
- Some issues, especially personal ones, don’t require an opinion – including yours or mine;
- If the topic is based on hard data, like science or medicine, quit trying to sound like you know something about that topic unless you’re an expert on the subject;
- Practice humility in the expression of your opinion and be respectful of others;
- Don’t be negative or dismissive of another person’s views unless of course those views are hateful and negative or just plain stupid;
- Strive to understand how another’s viewpoint might have been formed by experience;
- And hey – don’t let all those opinions turn into gossip!
So, yes, it’s true that people tend to value their own opinions – but it may help to remember the adage, try being informed instead of just opinionated.
And if you think you know something when you don’t, just a bit of advice here (and feel free to call it an opinion) – SHUT UP!
Copyright 2017 Duane Hewitt. All rights reserved.