Opinions are a dime a dozen. Everyone has one and we love to talk about what we believe to be true. Because I value the art of good conversation, people’s opinions on different issues interest me, whether it be concerning the touchy topics like politics and religion or Android vs. Apple. It is through these kinds of talks amongst our family and friends and even sometimes complete strangers, that helps us to arrive at some type of understanding on someone else’s views other than our own. Just think for a second. How many times have you talked with a friend and within the conversation said, “Oh wow. I never thought of it that way.” You may not remember a specific instance, but I am sure you can say it has happened to you more than a few times.
You do not necessarily have to agree with what that person believes to be true, but appreciate that there is always another way to look at something. Looking at something differently can be enlightening, refreshing and worthwhile! I love examples, so let me provide you one: poetry. One of the reasons I have always admired poetry is because what I take away from a particular poem, does not necessarily mean another person is going to take away the same thing. Why? Because what we bring to that poem are our life’s experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and you guessed it–our opinions. In other words, our interpretation of something may be similar, but the way we word it (and even feel about it) will most likely be different. And by you saying it differently, I can say, “Oh wow. I never thought of it that way.” See why I love the power of words?
So never be afraid to state your opinion, but at the same time, don’t be afraid to change it either. Arriving at a different opinion on something means you learned something new and we should attempt to learn something new every single day. The world would be a better place if we didn’t judge one another so much and simply tried to understand and value others opinions. My belief and what I find to be true may not be the same as yours, but I still respect what it is you believe; My opinion and how I interpret a situation is something you may disagree with, but you should still honor my right to have that opinion.
Lastly, my hope is that after reading this, you are encouraged to listen with more of an open mind and heart because you never know what you may hear that helps you understand this world and more importantly your neighbor just a little bit better.
“Which do you want: the pain of staying where you are, or the pain of growth?” –Judith Hanson Lasater