Opinion is a wonderful thing. I love that I live in a country where I am free to have an opinion that differs with another and that I can express it in any way I see fit.
Last night, when having a chat about the death of Amy Winehouse, the boy and I got into a bit of a debate. His opinion is that she was selfish and could have made a decision, mine being a little softer around the edges in favour of a bad choice and a family left in crisis. We disagreed. When we finished the short journey he got out of the car, looked at me and said “Are you mad because you think I’m cold?” I smiled and told him of course not, it was just his opinion. And Thomas Jefferson sprung to mind…
I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. Thomas Jefferson
It made me laugh that he would think that I might be upset that he disagreed with me, when that’s what makes us all different. I love that I can be completely comfortable in what I think yet able to have a healthy discussion about absolutely anything. Friends, family, loved ones; you might have a different opinion, but neither of us is right and that is the beauty of an opinion. It doesn’t mean any less just because you will never get to the right or wrong answer. I used to be the sort of teenager that would get fiercely defensive if anyone thought anything different to me, and I would become upset and difficult. What a difference a few years makes.
But how do we form an opinion? I think that years of soaking up information; facts, figures and other peoples thoughts makes our mind shape an opinion on any given subject. Take alcoholism for example. Two people may have been through an experience of losing a loved one to alcoholism. One might see the sadness in the loss; the longing for the situation to have been different and the sadness to not have been able to step in and make a difference to the path of that person. Another could see it as a selfishness; not thinking about the people around them and drinking themselves into the ground. Yet both might see it as a loss, and an illness that ultimately couldn’t be treated. Who is to say one is wrong and the other right?
It is not best that we should all think alike; it is a difference of opinion that makes horse races.