Sunday, December 7, 2008

o-pin-ion

–noun
1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
2. a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.
_____________________________________________
Something I have noticed a lot more lately, is how people judge each other's opinions. I am sure I am guilty of this myself at times and I will have to watch that more closely and curb that attitude. But what surprises me is how many people really do not see they are actually telling people their Opinion is Wrong. Based on the definition of the word, you cannot really tell someone they are WRONG about an opinion. Maybe how a person came to that opinion is misinformed, misled, incorrect, or a specific point within the opinion is incorrect - but their opinion is not Wrong.

What the hell am I talking about? Well, a perfect example happened throughout the day today. I read an opinion-piece on a blog and viewed a link that gave someone else's opinion (a matching opinion to the original blog I must add). And then I decided to give mine, which I started with the words "Personally I think...". My opinion was at odds with the majority of the blog followers and I found myself being asked questions, defending my position/opinion - and all this while being told by several people that I was incorrect in my thoughts/assumptions. I was then told that the original posts I was referring to were simply the authors' opinions. I must add in here that at no time did I hear the words "My opinion is" or "I think that" or "My personal view is" at the link I am referring to. It was all direct wording that, while inferred as the author's opinion, never once actually said anything remotely resembling personal thoughts. It was fully portrayed as "this IS the way things are". But apparently that person had an opinion and I somehow was wrong to have an opposing view. Strange, eh?

MY comment was MY opinion, so why was I being told I was wrong? I really do not understand that. Again it shows me that many people are completely blind to their own actions. Almost anyone who posts there with a differing opinion ends up having to defend themselves to others. If it is all just truly opinions, why is anyone telling each other they are incorrect? In a similar column of the same blog, I watched while people readily agreed with the blog author's opinion - but as soon as someone else came in with a differing view, the others were all over him too. Telling him that he was WRONG about a specific topic.

Well I am sorry, but that was his opinion and if he cannot say that the blog author's opinion is wrong, then no one else should be able to tell HIM that HE is wrong. Get it? But no, that is not how things play out there ever. Actually I believe that he and a couple of others simply said they were disappointed that the blog author was being heavily one-sided and they provided their opinions to certain matters, which naturally ended with everyone else coming in to say 'No! You are wrong!'. What? Why not respect his opinion even if it differs from your own? I believe one person did say the author was wrong in some of his assumptions, so that was not the right thing for him to say either. But when I looked back at my own post, at no time did I say the authors' opinions were wrong. I spoke my view, then offered questions to think about in relation to the authors' opinions. I don't know the answers to them myself, so it was in no way telling anyone they were wrong. It was adding in another train of thought. But no, I was again told that I was wrong. Very odd, don't you think?

That is my problem with all of this. I respect other opinions, though I may debate points. I try to make people think about what they are writing or saying. I am sure there are times when I am not respecting others' opinions and as I said earlier, I am working to catch myself in the act and stop. But I really do not see very many others respecting opinions. I just see 'attacks' or just downright telling people they are incorrect. It is pretty sad. If I start a response with "personally, I think...", how is that any different from what the blog author is doing? Why is he right and I am wrong? Oh I know - it's because my opinion is different, and therefore I must be corrected for being wrong. UGH.

I am all for being corrected if a I make an actual mistake - like if I say something that can be proven incorrect - listing the wrong voting % for a party, getting a History detail wrong, misunderstanding how a certain part of govt works, etc. If someone says "you are wrong about ....." and then lists something specific, I am grateful for the correction and for learning something new. But if I give my personal thoughts on an issue, I do not expect others to say I am wrong. How do they know I am wrong? How can they prove that a personal thought or gut feeling is incorrect? That is annoying and frustrating. Sitting back and watching someone then reply to me with "Well those are his opinions" at the same time as telling me MY opinion is wrong, is just aggravating and mind-boggling.

It comes down to many people only accepting opinions that happen to mirror their own. That is NOT what an opinion is about, is it? My brother and I have differing views on a multitude of subjects and I do not recall him ever telling me that I am wrong in my thinking. We debate issues, trade emails back and forth, counter ideas and concepts, but I do not say "No, you are wrong in thinking that way" and he does not say it to me - not about personal views. THAT is how things should be.

I have sat back and watched anti-Conservative and anti-Harper people say very blunt negative things all day long today, WITHOUT saying "my opinion is" or anything similar. I watched and read and observed reactions and answers and agreeances. Then I watched anyone who dared to have a different opinion, or dared to post another train of thought that took the heat off the Conservatives get stomped on. I am in no way saying it is only left-wing supporters that do that. I slapped the hands of a woman several times in another forum that repeatedly lumped all Quebecers together into one big separatist heap and I tsk-tskd her for being so generalized in her wordings. I told someone the other day that they were not helping the anti-coalition movement at all with their constant nasty remarks about 'all' Liberal voters and Quebecers and told them to pocket that kind of talk because it is unfair and untrue. That is a fact that can be proven because, of course, not every single person in Quebec wants to separate from Canada - which is what she was suggesting. That is what I mean when saying a person can be corrected if they say something that is completely untrue and can be easily proven so.

But I cannot tell her that her belief and support of the anti-coalition movement is wrong; just like I cannot tell someone that their belief IN the coalition is wrong. I don't know 100% that the coalition would be a bad idea and neither does anyone else. That is just our OPINION. Our BELIEF. And I respect that others think the opposite. They cannot prove that a coalition would work well, I cannot prove that it wouldn't. No one can! So THOSE are opinions that need to be respected. But - they are not.

People who tell others to be educated need to do the same thing themselves. And they also need to see their double standards and work to correct it. They surely must be able to see that when they say "No, you are wrong to think that" in the same paragraph as saying "That is just the author's opinion, take it or leave it", they are totally picking and choosing which time an opinion is 'correct'. THAT is wrong.

No comments:

Post a Comment

*Disclaimer

These are my views and opinions. If you don't agree or think I am sadly misguided, that is your view. Feel free to share your thoughts but I also reserve my right to moderate content (IE foul language, excessive flaming, etc).

Financial Center Live Stock Ticker