I have an opinion.
This is an expression of my thoughts and feelings toward a given topic. It is a personal interpretation of a person, place, thing, or event.
It is a completely subjective thing, my opinion. It’s shaped by numerous and sundry factors, including but not limited to my upbringing; my lifetime of experiences, good and bad; my friends and their experiences; what I see on TV, hear on the radio, and read in the newspapers; the world around me and its ever-changing needs, wants, and desires; even when I was born and where I grew up influence what I think about things. Sometimes these influences are so subtle I don’t even realize they’re at work, but they are — always.
What my opinion is not is a statement of fact — therefore my opinion cannot, by its very nature, be right or wrong; it simply is. It might be based on information I believe is correct but is in fact incorrect, but the opinion itself defies these labels.
My opinion may well differ from yours — maybe a little, maybe a lot, but that’s just the way things are: People are different and so are their opinions. That’s no reason to shout at me. That’s no reason to call me names. That’s no reason to belittle my beliefs, my thoughts, my feelings, as though doing so will cause me to see things your way.
Why can’t you just let me have my opinion? Why are you so determined to prove my opinion wrong? Does it somehow threaten you that I think differently? Does it really make you so mad that another person does not think exactly as you do that you feel compelled, even obligated to treat my opinion, and me, with such scorn, contempt, and ridicule? Why can’t you offer your own opinion in a civil manner that we might discuss why we feel the way we do as mature adults, rather than like two five-year-olds squabbling in the playground over whose mommy is prettier?
I’m not asking you to recant your opinion and embrace mine, I’d just like you to understand where I’m coming from. I want you to respect my right to have my own opinion. If we could all do that, if we could all stop taking everything so personally, as though it were some kind of assault on our beliefs, even our very identities, and simply agree to disagree without being disagreeable, the world would be a much better place.
Of course, that’s only my opinion.
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.