Opinions: a great paradox

Opinions. Everyone has them. We love to voice our own and hate to receive others’ opposing ones.

Our opinions can be both fickle and immovable. At times, we can be easily persuaded to another point of view… sometimes, we refuse to even acknowledge the opinions of others.

I am very opinionated at times- I know that. However, I’ve noticed lately, especially in light of the upcoming election, that people often thrust their views upon others and adopt a “my way or the highway” stance. To counter this, people often ask others to keep their opinions to themselves. To me that sounds like asking people to stem their personality, to stop being themselves…which sounds like a bad idea all around.

When it comes to this blog, I think of it as a place to voice my opinions. Under the idea of free speech, can those who know of my blog ask me not to post something? Is that not limiting my freedom of speech? I understand that yes, my blog should have some limits: using this blog or any other writing to hurt or destroy is way out of line. However, within these limits, I believe that it’s a good thing for our opinions to get out there.

Recently, the speaker at my school’s Thanksgiving service spoke about similar ideas. The example the speaker gave was a seeing a friend of his comment on Facebook bashing supporters of  the opposing political party and asking them to unfriend him because of their contrasting views. Here, the actual opinion is fine to share, however, going as far as to no longer want to be friends with those who don’t believe in the same ideas, is hurtful and unrealistic. The speaker mentioned a quote from  Thomas Jefferson that I felt summed things up well:

“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.”

We all have different opinions that we should be allowed to voice, but we should not let these differing points of view divide us.

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