Many individuals never stop to ask themselves about the opinions they form about others or how and why they form them.
Also, they sometimes choose friends, without knowing why, or trust certain people, but not others.
We all like to have our own opinions, albeit they’re mostly superficial, about everything under the sun. And, we prefer to mix with those who are willing to agree with us, as this boosts our ego and creates a great feeling of well-being.
However, this is short-sighted because none of us knows everything. When you start reading more and more, you will come to the profound conclusion that you know a lot less than you thought you did. And that before you reach any decision about something it is probably wiser to seek more facts.
A statement of FACT expresses what actually happened, or what could be proven by objective data. Whereas a statement of OPINION expresses an attitude toward something. It makes a judgment, view, or conclusion, or gives an opinion that cannot be proven true or false.
Many opinions you hold about other people usually turn out to be incorrect. Herbert Spencer the English philosopher once wrote, “Opinion is ultimately determined by the feelings, and not by the intellect.”
When someone expresses an opinion, remember, opinions depend to a greater extent on assumptions likes, dislikes and prejudices. Therefore a lot of personal opinions and even professional ones are in most cases not based on fact. They are only an opinion. Much of what you read in newspapers or magazines is a mix of factual information and the opinions of the author.
Often the opinions are disguised as facts, to make the author’s argument seem more believable.
There is nothing wrong with mixing opinions and facts together in an argument, of course. It’s done all the time. What is important is that you need to be able to distinguish the fact from the opinion if you want to make a sound judgment about the information you are receiving.
Remember, opinions are really other people’s thoughts on how they perceive the world. And, that’s ok but it doesn’t mean you have to agree with them. You should be able to listen to them without being offended though because you might learn something new about yourself, the world around you and the other person.
In the final analysis, you are the person who controls your life and so your decisions should be carefully thought out before being acted upon.
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash.