“Well, opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one.” Harry Callahan
I never thought use a quote from a Dirty Harry movie, but these are interesting times.
I can barely keep up with the outrage in the news over a politician, celebrity or sports person who has stirred the hornet’s nest by sharing their opinion.
The topics they share their feelings on range from the relevant to the ridiculous and should largely be ignored. But generally what they have to say is seized upon and dissected. Not always positively either.
Today, poor Kochie bemoans his fate today as a privileged, white male unable to express his opinions. Hardly a Chinese dissident, and if he expects any sympathy he is mistaken. Sorry David. Let’s hope that newly breastfeeding mothers are not thinking about whether they are being discreet just because of him.
The furor Kochie caused by sharing the bizarre stuff going on in his head started me thinking about how we share our opinions in the 21st Century.
With the advent of social media, particularly twitter, EVERYONE has an opinion they want to share. Which is great. Sharing ideas is fantastic. Unless you are the sort of person who HAS to be RIGHT all the time. Whose opinion is the ONLY opinion.
I’ve seen it time and again. People stumbling on a difference of opinion and deciding to make it their evening’s work to harass the person until they ‘change their mind’.
So, how confidently do you share your opinion? Do you worry about causing offence? Call me chicken if you like, but I sometimes I leave things are unsaid. Because it’s my opinion. Not necessarily yours. And I’m happy to leave it at that.
How about if someone asks you directly for your opinion? Do you answer honestly? Or give them the answer you think they want, in attempt to maintain the status quo? (Ever given an “honest” opinion of a newly ex boy/girlfriend only to see the couple reunite? Awkward.)
Don’t misunderstand me. I think having an opinion is an important part of the human condition. To be honest, I am still working on what mine are. So, I actively seek out mentors who I know will share their views with good intentions. These are the people I listen to. These are the opinions I value.
With friends who share different opinions, I just smile and nod my head, understanding that I can no more change their mind than they can mine. The irrelevant and ridiculous opinions spouted in the media by people educated enough to know better, while potentially damaging should be ignored.
As the above quote says, opinions are like assholes. We all have one, and sometimes they stink…
Do you share your opinion? Are there some topics you remain silent on?