Opinionated: Thoughts About People's Opinions

When people give their "opinion," most of the time I get the feeling that there's more emotion than there is belief. In fact, most of the time when a person says what they "believe," I get the same feeling.

I get the idea that a lot of people are more interested in standing up for something than they are in being honest.

We're easily bought. We're raised watching "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and strongly taking the side of the turtles; and we're easily convinced Shredder should die. It's human. The people who wanted Jesus to die thought they were putting an end to Shredder (and to be open-minded and non-hypocritical, I state that maybe they were putting an end to Shredder when they killed Jesus). We hardly even consider whether the two parties could work things out in a peaceful way. Of course, if they did, that would ruin the entire show. What makes a show is when someone stands up, and the turtles are standing up, and we like it.

And at the roots, standing up is a great thing. It's all about emotion. Nothing feels better than standing up and fighting for what you truly believe in. Doing so is "being yourself," and nothing makes us feel better than being who we are, expressing who we are.

But I fear that, often, our ultimate urge of expressing who we are - the dream of standing up and fighting for something good and feeling totally good about it - makes us push away the little voice inside that says, "Wait a second. I'm not totally sure if doing [this] is good." Fighting for what is good feels too good, and we don't want to let it go. So we kind of, subconsciously, push that little voice away and just assume we're doing good. If something just sounds good, it's probably enough for us to fight for it.

I know that I've done that a lot. Perhaps, I'm doing it right now. Whenever anyone speaks, it's all about expression. I want to exist in these words. I want to express myself. But, is my urge of self-expression so great that I'm speaking before I truly know how to express myself? Maybe. I'm not really sure.

There is no blame. One man can express himself and another cannot. Is either man more righteous? No. Does either man feel better? I have faith (given to me from my experiences) that a man who can express himself feels better than a man who cannot. I do not stand strongly behind that belief, however, and I want to hear any opposition, because faith only grows stronger when it survives seeing the other side of things. The stronger my faith is, the more ability I have to know how to express who I really am.

You have to know how to express yourself before you actually do express yourself. If you don't know how, then you will just be existing as something that you're not.

Most likely, we've all existed as something that we're not. It's just making a mistake. If you could watch a period of your life where you really wanted something that ended up hurting you, it would illustrate what I'm talking about. You strongly believe in something, and all of your effort is put into it; but it does no good for you. Technically, you were still existing as yourself, because deep inside, every decision that you made was based on the idea of doing something that you thought would be good. But could things have been better if you would have doubted your own thoughts? If you would have seen the other side of things? If you would have seen who you really are, what you really stand for?

This all relates a lot to politics, and I'm probably writing this because most politicians (and their followers) that I have seen seem to be strongly opinionated. Both sides: the far left and the far right. Before the election, there were numerous commercials on TV, throwing out ideas meant to grab at our emotions, to make one guy look like the Turtles and the other guy look like Shredder. But I have faith that even if one guy is better than the other, many of his followers are merely expressing themselves when they don't know how to (so they aren't expressing themselves; they're making a mistake, or being lucky and accidentally expressing themselves).

I actually heard something from the President that relates a lot to what I'm saying. (paraphrased, to the best of my memory) He said about a certain issue, "It isn't easy. If it was easy, someone else would have already done it."

I have faith in that quote, and it shines a lot of light onto politics. Most (maybe all) of the national issues are not easy. Decisions made to control millions of people are very complex. But a person's urge to stand up can make them speak as though the decisions are very easy. And the end result is a large number of people on both sides standing up and speaking of complex issues as though they're really simple.

This is something I've seen my entire life. People are eager to have opinions. "Everyone is entitled to their opinion." That is true, but I have faith that we all would be better off if we could hold back on having an opinion. If we could, instead, be silent. If we could sit, rather than stand, and first examine whether we really know who we are. Perhaps there is a plank in my eye, but I don't see it. Perhaps I am too busy telling everyone else how to remove their splinters.

One politician says, "I believe abortion is wrong because I value life." Another says, "I believe abortion is right because I value choice."

And they leave it at that. They agree to disagree. I don't think people should ever agree to disagree, to say, "Well, I am different than you. I was raised differently." Perhaps you were raised in a way in which you do not know how to express yourself.

Which politician has more faith in what he/she believes? The one who has seen both sides. The one who says, "I value life and choice. I understand both sides and what makes people stand up strongly for either side. I do not know which side is right, because this issue is very complex; but I have a little more faith in [so and so]. I have examined both sides, but if you have any information which you think will help me in understanding the issue and gaining more faith in either side, I want to hear it."

I'm not saying that politicians don't say the above. I'm just saying that I've seen a lot of politicians, and a lot of their followers, who don't.

Despite differing views, we all have the opportunity of not being polarized. We have the opportunity of being honest about our faith and working together with everyone to increase our collective faith of what is good for everyone.

I don't see the world as a split between those who are "left" and those who are "right". I see much of both sides in the same boat of opinionated battlers, and I have joined the other side: those who often say things such as, "I'm not sure." "What if..." "I don't know" and "Maybe." we are well aware that we might not know who we are. We might not know how to express ourselves.