Opinions

opinionIt has been said that opinions are like wrinkles: everyone has them, and the older we get the more we have.  We give them a great deal of power.  Some of us are practically ruled by our opinions, and the opinions of others impact our lives daily in myriad ways: politics, individual human rights — even what we (or our significant others) believe we should be wearing.

When we really think about it, we can see that “our” opinions often aren’t really ours.The majority of the time they are based on the opinions of others that we glean from conversations, the news and infotainment media (usually those that tell us the things we are comfortable hearing), our clergy, friends and social sites.  Seldom do we bother to conduct unbiased research, drawing from sources on both sides of a question so that we can form original opinions of our own.  In fact, most of the things we “believe” or “feel” are things that someone else wanted us to believe and feel.  Rarely can we honestly say that our positions on issues are solely our own.

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Right? Or Happy?

On how many interesting relationships have I missed out by labeling others as — well — others?  How much common ground have I missed because of my unskillful ability to hear what others were really saying?

When I think of people with prejudices, how much of the judging is mine?

How many have I pushed away because of what were really superficial differences in points of view?

How interested am I — really — in learning more about the world and the people in it?  Enough to keep my mouth shut and listen, and then find something I can agree with, rather than automatically disagreeing with those…others?

Sometimes I seem to be improving in those areas, slowly but surely, although I have a long way to go.  How are you doing?