What is your opinion on opinion?
Far from fact, opinion comes from the old French word opinio from the stem of opinari; ‘think, believe.’
It is our judgement on a given subject.
How does opinion serve us?
Is our own opinion the advice we should be taking on ourselves?
Why do we like to spread our opinion and convince others of its potency?
Is hearing another’s opinion supporting us or is it simply getting in the way of our own sense making?
How do we hear opinions polarised to our own? Are they static or dynamic?
What is the function of your opinion?
Beliefs and thoughts
Where does it come from?
I didn’t have an opinion for a long time,
Built by perspective
Fundamental to the human experience
Don’t give it until you live it
Intuition connecting with knowledge/philosophy/perspective,
This seemed to be a rather slow discussion from my opinion. We explored how our opinions came to be. One human said that they felt they did not have an opinion for quite a long time. He found that after listening to a wide range of perspectives and taking in knowledge and information his opinion arose. I could relate to this as I also found that I did not have a clear opinion until I was 24, and it came like a whirlwind of understanding as to the path that came before me, ignited by Gandhi’s philosophy.
I have been very opinionated ever since but have slowed down enough to realise that my opinion is mostly for me to listen to and make choices from.
Is our opinion beneficial for others?
I think there was a relative consensus as to learning from others opinions, for one I learnt from Gandhi’s opinion and developed my own.
So when is opinion constructive and destructive?
Perhaps when we observe opinions objectively, combined with the sense-making of our own experiences we are able to construct an opinion of our own. Taking responsibility for our own opinion allows for a stable foundation of understanding to be built, as we constantly cross check the integrity we evolve our opinion.
When an opinion is forced down our throats or thrown towards us as a bandaid for an uncomfortable symptom, the foundation of understanding is lost and blame can be cast towards the givers of advice or forced perspective. We then easily become the victims of somebody else’s opinion.
Maybe we all need to think for ourselves?
At university I remember watching my friend spout political opinion that had come straight from the mouths of his parents. I couldn’t help think that it was inauthentic and simply a way to feel a sense of belonging.
It takes courage and patience to allow for your own opinion to emerge.
Once it does it can create a headlong stubborn march of righteous preaching spreading the word amongst the common folk.
Take the ‘woke’ trend of western society, discovering old wisdom that is not a part of our educational curriculum; everything is connected, nature is alive, money, fear, the government and institutions old and irrelevant, for example. Such a realisation creates a tsunami of righteous preaching, unconscious bullying and confrontation. The world can become a dark place when we begin to see the shadowy aspects of the world, and the only way out is to see our own reflection amongst all that we deem unfair and evil and seek the change within ourselves.
In the ‘woke’ trend it is evident that the opinions arising are for those who hold them, as the spreading of them can seem ignorant and ungrateful. Not to say they hold many words of wisdom and insight that will assist us. Just more so with action than unreliable words perhaps?
Well it is clear where I stand on opinion, and as I write this post it has been a couple of weeks since our discussion.
Opinion is for our own navigation. We use it to make the next decision on the journey of life and as we make decisions our opinions change and ready us for the next step.
We strive to have an infallible opinion, but if it is static and reductionistic we have already lost. Unconsciously perhaps we know that our opinion is corrupted or incomplete and this insecurity is oppressed within us, and enforced outside of us.
Having a dynamic opinion, one in which transforms as one listens, learns and experiences from life, nature and the other seems in more alignment with the nature of things as we discover it. But perhaps this will shift as well. Practicing not knowing can be seen as foolish and a challenge for the ego, yet it is this acuity that shapes a person into a person of wisdom.
If only we noticed the fools we are and wore our foolishness with a naked pride as we laugh, fall and discover the world and ourselves beyond that in which we believe or think we know.