This is me, having some sort of opinion about something. Why? Because everybody has them. Opinions I mean. All of the time. And about most everything. It is a perfectly normal and natural thing to have. But suddenly, it's not a popular thing to have. Especially if it's different than the folks you are talking to. And it's kind of making me crazy.
I am a person who is not afraid of a difference of opinion. I love a good intellectual exchange of ideas. Which, of course, is not the same thing at all as another person screaming, "You are wrong" at you. There should no be screaming in intellectual discourse. It's a conversation not a form of intimidation. Person A says that they believe such and such. Person B says that on the contrary they believe so and so to be true. Hmm. Interesting, Tell me more! You may not convince me to change my opinion, but it will be fascinated to hear yours, and the "why" of it. I love having a new idea to consider, a new perspective. And then, in the end, we can agree to disagree and then move on. Politely. We can still be friends. We can even be close friends.
I do not require the people around me to think exactly the same way that I do about everything. Oh my gracious, how boring would that be? Everyone would dress the same, look the same, do the same, live in the same house, drive the same cars.....we wouldn't be humans, we would be cyborgs.
One of the other things that I notice are folks who will say, "I have no opinion about that", about most everything. First of all, I don't believe it. Everyone has an opinion about most everything. I'm sure there are a few things that really do not matter to each of us one way or the other. That's how I feel about most contemporary music. I'm not familiar enough with it to really have an opinion. I don't hate it. I don't love it. I merely acknowledge that it exists. I do not really have an opinion about it. But for the most part everyone has an opinion and if you say you don't, you are lying to me. I don't trust liars.
Saying you have no opinion about everything just to stay out of the fray says to me that either you are completely disengaged, perhaps a little depressed or you are preferring to not share your opinion. And that's fine. But say so. I respect the desire to not engage now and again. But always? That feels cowardly. Which is my opinion.
Here's the thing about opinions. They are not facts. In fact that's right in the definition:
See, there you go, The Official Word. Not A Fact. It's more about the way you feel. And that's ok as long as the person with the opinion also recognizes that it's not a fact. If my opinion is different than yours, I am not insisting that you change your opinion. I'm not saying that my feelings on the matter are the cold, hard truth. I am just saying this is how I feel. And perhaps that's where it all started going wrong.
As of late, not having the same opinion as someone else is tantamount to a battle cry. What a shame. There is so much to be learned by entertaining new ideas and new opinions. If there was only one official opinion and we all had to share it, first of all, once again, So Boring. Secondly, where would come the new ideas, new inventions, new discoveries? And having an unpopular opinion? Well lots of famous folks have very unpopular opinions. Like say, Galileo. He was of the opinion that the earth revolved around the sun instead of the other way 'round. This was a wildly unpopular opinion and landed Galileo in some very hot water with the powers that be. He was correct, but hey, that didn't matter. It was not only unpopular to be of that opinion, but criminal! Yikes!
What I see happening lately, unfortunately, is that either people are afraid to express their opinions or they don't bother to think for themselves at all, and just share the collective popular opinion regardless of how they may feel. And then the one really loud popular opinion is being treated as fact when it ain't necessarily so. What a shame.
For the record, I have some rather unpopular opinions and I have no problem throwing them out into the world. Here's a few controversial ones.
1. I do not care for the idea of pets living part of their lives in crates. Puppy Jail. I know all of the "experts' now say that the animals love it. I know that owners feel that it is very convenient for them. To me, a pet is a family member. I wouldn't put a family member in a cage so I wouldn't put a pet in a cage (except for transportation to the vet and back). Just my opinion.
2. The way the toilet paper hangs on the spindle does not matter. Having toilet paper when you need it, matters. They rest is just unimportant. (and during the pandemic driven toilet paper shortages this was never more true!) Just my opinion
3. Men being yelled at for not putting the toilet seat down is sexist. Attention all women: you marched for equality so that you could fight with the miliary, run a company or a country, but you are incapable of putting down a toilet seat? That' pretty lame. It's not hard. Oh the dark of night complaint? Why would it be harder for women to put it down in the night than for a man to put it up in the night? The ultimate equality. And by the way, if you have toddlers or dogs, not only put it down, but put the lid down too. Make it equally inconvenient for everybody. Again, just my opinion.
4. Bad food is sometimes good for you. If I am usually very good about eating healthy and making good food choices, then I refuse to feel guilty for occasionally eating something bad. I think food for the body is important. But I also think that food for the soul is important too. So if someone tells me that I should never eat bread again, EVER, or ice cream, EVER or sugar Ever, I am going to laugh a lot. I will never look like a model and I'm actually very healthy. So once in awhile, yeah, I'm going hog wild. Not every day. Not even every week. But sometimes bad food is the best. Just my opinion.
5 . Sushi is gross. Just my opinion.
6. Licorice is disgusting. That one is fact.
So there you have it. Some of my opinions. Just opinions. Does that mean we can no longer be friends?
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.