Opinions Are Like Assholes


Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one. And sometimes they stink.

“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’.

opinionsWhat’s with the obsession of being right all the time? Why can’t we use my nana’s philosophy of “we’ll agree to disagree”?

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?

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  • http://explore.johnanthonyjames.com/ John James

    Hang on…but I AM RIGHT all the time…


  • http://www.undertheyardarm.com Naomi

    I do share my opinions. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t. But then, I figure I have as much right to share mine as the next person.

    I am (sometimes) happy to be proven wrong, or to alter my thoughts on topics too – I like a good debate. Then again, sometimes I am damn sure I am right.

    The problem I have with ignoring the opinions spouted by the media is that they often say the most ridiculous things, and I can find them very hard not to get shouty about it.

  • Hayley Ashman

    I’m pretty free with sharing my opinion but it’s usually because I want to get others talking. I would much rather hear what someone else thinks about a topic than bleat on about what I think.

  • http://tamsinhowse.com/blog Tamsin Howse

    I will not share my opinion on things where I see no point. Where it’s futile. Like breastfeeding, discipline for children, religion, or a myriad of other things where people are militant in their beliefs.

    Often I will share my opinion. Obviously, since I write my opinions here. But other times, especially on some other websites, I just can’t be bothered!

    • Hayley Ashman

      I’m the same when it comes to certain websites. I enjoy a good discussion but am more of a quiet observer when it comes to a lot of conversations on the internet. There are certainly topics I intentionally stay away from.

  • http://www.kellyexeter.com.au Kelly Exeter

    I only ever voice an opinion to people who I know have open minds where if they don’t agree with me, they will agree to disagree.

    The ‘always have to be right’ brigade … I keep my mouth shut. Much better for my sanity :)

  • Kris2040

    I share my opinion with no trouble at all. I do enjoy an argument (as I’m sure most of you know) but I usually honour the other person’s argument. I think this actually makes a lot of people nervous, as I do this rather than saying “You’re wrong, you idiot. Shut UP!” and it is a more comprehensive way of shooting their arguments to pieces. I’ll often ask people who make outlandish (to me) statements to clarify stuff, and it’s where they fall down.
    I do have to be in the right mood to argue about some things though. Politics with LNP supporters and anti-vaxers spring to mind for the mood having to be right.

    I do think though that people need to learn to understand that it’s OK to disagree, and that someone disagreeing with you doesn’t mean that you have to hate each other for ever more.

    I was actually doing a bit of a job interview today to be an Ethics teacher (the non-religious option for scripture for primary school kids) and I was talking to the co-ordinator about this very subject. Kids (and many, many adults) need to understand that it’s OK to disagree and it doesn’t have to end up in not talking and hating each other. It’s just disagreeing.

  • http://ytravelblog.com Caz Makepeace

    Oh yes! I am very careful who I share my opinion with. Only those who are open minded enough to listen and then have a discussion. I can’t stand talking to those who are always right, especially if they don’t do much else with their life but sit and watch the news and Kim Kardashian reruns.

    i rarely talk about political or controversial issues on my blog because I think they are futile. Most of the time it ends in a series of back and forth commenters hell bent on being right. It’s worse than those gravaton rides at the fair.

    You will never change someone’s opinion, why stress yourself out trying. Just be yourself, and live to the beat of your own drum.