Friday, 27 November 2015

Opinions! Why we love them so damned much!

Good morning Reader,

Enjoying your Saturday morning? I must say I find Saturday to be a rather rubbish day, don't get what all the fuss is about.

Speaking of opinions I was being a wall-flower the other day and listening to a conversation that I don't think I was really a part of but hey, better than standing by myself while another group of people all enjoy each other's company right? The upside is that it gave me the opportunity to really analyse how these people were acting and wonder why.

The situation was that one person was telling the others about a holiday they had taken recently, specifically about a building they had been very impressed by. Another participant of this conversation happened to have been to the same building within the last year but they had found it quite underwhelming. At first it seemed to be just a casual exchange:
"I went to this great building. All the stonework and painting was so intricate, I'd never seen anything like it. It was incredible!"
"Oh really? I found it kind of dull. I mean it wasn't that great".
Now this doesn't seem a likely catalyst for conflict but surprisingly it was. A building they both saw at different times and, in all likelihood, neither will ever see again.

However things snowballed from there. They both appeared to take affront to the other's comments and started trying to explain why theirs was the valid opinion and why the other's was invalid, wrong or just dumb. I'm sure we are all well aware though that changing a person's opinion like this is about as easy as pole vaulting the moon with a toothpick. Both of them ended up frustrated and emotional and even angry with each other.

So I had to ask myself why? Why do we invest ourselves so heavily in caring about other people's opinions? They are just opinions. They aren't facts, they don't mean that we are wrong or that our opinions are worth less (although if we are being honest with our selves the value of an opinion is about the same as that toothpick you tried to jump over the moon with. What were you thinking?).

I started to think perhaps it's a bit of a mirror effect. People these days seem to have an extremely over-inflated idea of what their opinions are worth. Imagining every random thought that pops into their head as some kind of a pearl of wisdom (by the way I am aware of the irony of saying this in my blog where I post all the random crap I come up with when I have too much time on my hands). Maybe if we all took a couple steps back down toward Earth and realised our opinions are not worth anything until you take them further and turn them into a real statement with supporting evidence and clearly stated objectives and conditions we would realise that other's opinions are also not really worth anything. This doesn't mean don't express your opinion or don't listen when other people express theirs, just realise that it doesn't have to have any real bearing on you or anything else in the world.

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